Math, maths, tomato, tomato.
Whatever, to be American is about as far from cool as you can get these days.
Unless you’re from New York, of course (!) And until you’ve heard Read Yellow.
minutes, five songs. Do the math. Read Yellow are probably the coolest thing to
come out of Massachusetts since, well, who ever came out of Massachusetts and
wrote a load of songs to rival kinsmen the Pixies’ moody intensity or At The Drive-In’s
mental experimentalism? From the neck-bulging yelling of frontman Evan Kenney
to the fret-scraping and feedback inducing guitarist Jesse Vuona Read Yellow make
no apologies for jumping into the crowd and waving their guitars perilously close
to people’s heads. A minor problem, less so than the fact that the lyrics too
frequently get lost. We know thay’ve got something to say, but don’t hear it until
Model America – a crushingly black take on ‘the state of their homeland.’ It’s
great to hear an American band translating the sound of their country’s tragic
inertia into a great bass-driven damnation of government and governed, instead
of a sappy ‘woe is me’ ballad (see Warchild for that).
At times the combination
of yelps and atmospherics echoes the similarly politicised At The Drive In, but
Read Yellow are unmistakably punk at heart, and not averse to the occasional melody,
with female bassist Michelle Freivalddoing the honours with the perfectly balanced
At fifteen minutes per song, an encore is out of the question
and the charts hardly beckon, but Read Yellow sound important – the missing link
between trendy garage rock and hardcore craziness, perhaps. Which is, like, pretty
Natasha House for Crud Magazine 2004©
October - December 2004- News Archive