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

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Germinale - Germinale – One of the better of the new Italian progressive bands, their eponymous debut just escaped the second part of our "New Italian Progressive Rock Scene" overview back in issue #4. So with the...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues