Boomkat Product Review:
The mighty Yellow Swans return with an archival extraction from 2007-'08, a suitably torched document of basement synthesis and downcast industrial grit recorded around the time of their iconic ‘Going Places’ album and planned dissolution.
By the time Pete Swanson and Gabriel Saloman parted ways in 2008, their catalogue was vast; aside from their well known Load-released masterworks ('Psychic Secession’, ‘At All Ends'), they cast a huge net of tapes, CDRs and splits made in different editions (sometimes just a handful) and sold in diff places (mostly at shows), documenting their voracious creative sprawl. Now reformed (with new material on the way), the duo have dusted off a bunch of shelved recordings, the first of which appears before you here.
'Left Behind' captures an incendiary practice session made in the basement of Rotture, a notorious nightclub in Portland, Oregon, featuring 30 minutes of first grade emotional punishment; all smouldering distortion, stifled melodies and fritzed, buried vocals. 'For JR', a track the duo had planned to donate to a fundraiser for a friend who had his gear stolen, is where things really kick in; over the course of 11 minutes the duo call out to the great beyond, referencing doom metal with seismic, slow-motion riffs before squealing noise and feedback take hold. Disordered, animalistic vocals swirl into thick, hallucinatory pools, while everything crackles into prodigious cacophony.
Things dial down on 'For NB', a track they originally kept back to fund a friend's knee surgery (the pre gofundme era, kids). For 14 minutes, Swanson processes oscillations into coiled tone clouds, and Saloman meets his thrust with shimmering guitar phrases. Mid-way through, they both step into blown-out, red-lined chaos, before dissolving to a pensive conclusion.
It’s all remarkably fresh and a timely reminder that Yellow Swans were never just a noise band - volume was just one technique they used to invoke deeper listening and profound concentration. And you just cant escape the weeping sense of melancholy simmering beneath all that bristling energy - rarely has such visceral material felt so flush with sadness.
We’re poised for your return. lads.