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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Omnia Opera - Omnia Opera – From the first few power chords at the beginning of "Space Bastard" it becomes fairly obvious that this British six-piece have Hawkwind as one of their major influences, yet they seem to be capable of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues