With a heavy vocal echo and reverb cranked to eleven, Yarn Owl presents seven tracks of undulated upbeat pop. “Yarn Blues” kick things off; it’s a track we’ve heard before, but Yarn Owl gives it a revisit by speeding things up a bit and treating it with the reverb jangle heavy throughout Tiny Dots. One thing is for sure: this isn’t likely what you were expecting, coming from a cassette tape. Tiny Dots label Leftist Nautical Antiques is prone to release things in this form, and it’s almost perfect – the pop Yarn Owl creates has a classic feel to it, be it late 80s or early 90s.
“Stay In Tune With The Moon” continues in the direction of wholesome pop ripe with harmony. “Without You” takes things up a notch with a near power pop jangle to the guitars. “Rubik’s Cube” flirts between light guitar riffs and a heavier strum; altering time as well as volume as the song continues. Complex riffs give “The Wind” its edge, while on closing track “This Old Yarn” it’s the repetitive vocals that allow Tiny Dots to bow out on yet another high point.
Frontman Javier Suarez is a master of melody – he demonstrates this right off the bat in “Yarn Blues” and on through to “This Old Yarn”. The vocals are unique and fun, and the vocal patterns are such of a much more mature band. It’s a trait that runs its course throughout the band, from guitars (exceptional playing throughout the EP, whether busting out a complex riff or selecting the right chord progression for a powerful strum) to percussion (pointed with all the right moves; not afraid to focus on toms to keep things deep, yet willing to ride the cymbals for a more chaotic effect).
Tiny Dots cements Yarn Owl as an up-and-coming force. As if we did not already know – they’ve shared the stage with some of the greatest bands from across the Northwest region, from Fruit Bats and Grand Archives, to this year’s favorites including Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band and Ah Holly Fam’ly. And the list doesn’t end there. With another EP, Stay Warm, announced for early next year, we can all expect more greatness from these folks sooner than later.
Leftist Nautical Antiques [Cassette Tape, 2009]
1. Yarn Blues
2. Stay In Tune With The Moon
3. Without You
5. Rubik’s Cube
6. The Wind
7. This Old Yarn