Yankee Bluff – I (EP Review)
by Steven Spoerl
To close out last week, a variety of great songs got released from the likes of Jeff Rosenstock, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Channels, YJY, Morgan Delt, Color Tongue, Pill, Multicult, Alphabetic, dreambeaches, and DYAN. While all of those tracks were certainly worthy of a great deal of attention, this featured spot goes to the surprise debut from Yankee Bluff, a band that was born out of the ashes of site favorites Dogs On Acid (pictured above), who announced both this new project and their end in a recent Facebook post.
While losing Dogs On Acid is tough to swallow, the sudden appearance of Yankee Bluff helps smooth out the transition. Helping matters even further is the fact that their debut EP, I, easily ranks as one of the format’s finest entries of the year. Beginning with “Agessi”, I demonstrates the songwriters’ increasing knack for nuanced basement pop and distances them even further from their emo roots.
Anchored by a compellingly battered production aesthetic, everything in I comes across as surprisingly grounded without sacrificing some towering pop-leaning hooks. As the EP progresses, a folk undercurrent slowly emerges, recalling some of Tenement‘s more Americana-informed works. By the time I hits its halfway point, Yankee Bluff have fully announced themselves as a democratic collective, allowing each member’s respective voice the opportunity to become distinctive, bringing their contemporaries in LVL UP to mind.
There aren’t any weak patches throughout the EP, with each song demonstrating a new angle that Yankee Bluff manages to successfully explore, a trait that will undoubtedly work to their advantage down the line. Whether they’re latched onto the near-anthems that Dogs On Acid cranked out a startling rate or the slow-burning acoustic act that defines the EP’s penultimate track, they also manage to cultivate a singular identity and establish themselves as a very serious force.
Ultimately, I stands as an unlikely — and unexpected — triumph. In the wake of losing one of the best bands of the past few years, we’ve been gifted a band that’s very capable of taking up the mantle. I is as good of a debut as anyone’s likely to hear this year and opens up the doors for even more impressive material in the coming years.
As Dogs On Acid recedes into the distance, it’ll be incredibly reassuring to have the privilege of watching their spiritual successor keep their flame alive and burning while forging an entirely new path. Even at the start of the party, there’s already an abundance of riches. Pick them up and hold them close, value them with the respect they deserve, and don’t make the mistake of letting them disappear without acknowledgement. After all, nothing lasts forever.
Listen to I below and pick it up here.