Exposé Online banner

Yowie — Synchromysticism
(Skin Graft GR122, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-09-27

Synchromysticism Cover art

Synchromysticism is an EP of high energy craziness from this St Louis trio, five tracks comprising 33 minutes of ever-changing rhythms and riffs tightly coordinated for all their unconventional aspects. The guitar patterns often involve screeches, wails, and other noises that aren’t part of a normal vocabulary of notes and chords. The band consists of the founder, drummer Shawn "Defenestrator" O'Connor and two guitarists, Jeremiah Wonsewitz and Christopher Trull. There’s no bass player, so one of the guitarists handles the low end, either on a baritone guitar or using an octave pedal. The closest comparison I can make is with the earlier recordings of Ahleuchatistas — Yowie has the same kind of manic intensity coupled with ridiculously tight arrangements full of meter changes and unexpected accents. Within these confines, there’s a fair amount of variety — they wisely give us a break from the onslaught by toning it down a bit from time to time. O’Connor’s playing is the key to it all working. His parts are busy and impressive, handling the odd meters in ways that don’t involve simply hitting the ones when they come around. He’s shifting the accents, doubling up the beats, and marking the accents from the guitars in ways that can’t possibly involve much that isn’t meticulously planned. I don’t think there’s much room for improvisation or interpretation here, as any deviation from the rehearsed form would derail everything. It’s an impressive feat of musicianship, and fun to hear. My one real complaint about the recording is that it’s mixed with the two guitars almost completely at the extremes of the stereo spectrum, while the drums are placed in a normal fashion. Listening to the music on headphones is really annoying, with the low notes in the left ear and the high notes all on the right.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Yowie

More info
http://yowie.bandcamp.com/album/synchromysticism

Latest news

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chrome - Retro Transmission – After a lengthy hiatus, Helios Creed has returned with a new Chrome album. Having never heard a Chrome album before I cannot say if this is representative or not. I can tell you one major influence on...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues