Yawning Sons ‘Ceremony To The Sunset’ CD 2009

Some times collaborative efforts can be spectacularly hit and miss – the Judgement Night soundtrack for example pulled together luminaries from the Rap and Metal world to provide a genre challenging soundtrack for a film that was, well just challenged really and when Korn and Limp Bizkit teamed up to represent the Nu-Metal world’s biggest artists the by product was like a huge turd that you couldn’t flush…

Once swift glance at the names being dropped for this release and any notion of it failing vanish quickly – Scott Reeder (Kyuss), Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson) and Wendy Rae Fowler (QOTSA) all lend their considerable talents to this fine example of space rock/ambient stoner.

The main source of inspiration comes from the core of British avant garde stoner instrumentalists Sons Of Alpha Centuari who have combined with Californian resident and Desert rock veteran Gary Arce (Yawning Man) to produce the expansive and challenging ‘Ceremony To The Sunset’.

It is a hard album to describe; it is something to be felt. Of the seven full length tracks on this album four are instrumentals and often the disc merges gloriously into one fluid movement (no pun intended). Make no mistake, this is not an album to throw on at a party and wow everyone with a catchy riff, this is more the soundtrack to a drive out into the desert to sit on the bonnet of your truck whilst smoking a strong joint, sipping a cool beer and watching the sunset.

At times this album is the musical equivalent of a floatation tank. ‘Ethereal’ would be the perfect word to describe it at times as the guitar delicately picks out winding passages of intricate melody that ebbs and flows. Closing track ‘Japanese Garden’ sounds almost like The Stone Roses’ John Squires reborn in a stoner outfit due to the sublime lead work of Marlon King. The drumming courtesy of Stevie B is subtle and unobtrusive to the whole feel of the album and Arce’s Lapsteel work accents the jam-like harmonics…

And that is without even mentioning the guest collaborators. It speaks volumes about the strength of the writing that it is not over shadowed or upstaged by the vocal performances, which flavour rather than dominate the proceedings. Wendy Rae’s contribution to Ghostship/Deadwater soars over the music like a siren, Lali and Reeder’s turns are more downbeat and understated by nether the less as fitting and mesmerising.

There are few albums that I have heard lately that would cause me to gush quite so relentlessly as this. Okay, if you were going to pick fault you could say that it isn’t catchy enough, some parts don’t stick in brain and you probably won’t be humming it in the shower, but to level those criticisms at this album is to miss the whole point entirely and you are better of waiting for the next below par QOTSA single when it comes on the radio…

Label: Lexicon Devil Records
Website: www.myspace.com/yawningsons

Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden