Los Angeles-based, French-American group Yard Of Blondes explode on their debut album, Feed The Moon.
The band’s collection of songs demonstrate years of hard graft and sound perfecting with some of the best guitar tones I’ve heard all year. The group shows themselves to be confident in song-writing structures and have an essence for creating exciting build-ups in the majority of these tracks.
Feed The Moon takes a lot of influence from stoner rock, hard rock and alt rock with acts such as Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse, Placebo and vocally, Nine Inch Nails all playing key roles in shaping the band’s sound.
From the opening track, Do You Need More, you’re greeted with gritty guitars, roaring vocals and smooth harmonies. There’s a ferocious and melodic rock introduction that has all the makings of a classic Placebo guitar track. It has flare and hard rock tones with many transitions from vocal breaks to descending fuzzy guitar drops. Do you need more? Yes!
Murderology has a Gothic mood which continues with fuzzy guitars and vocals that blend into the low notes. It has stoner rock vibes and Nine Inch Nails rhythms. Looking at the names put into producing this record such as, Michael Patterson and Maor Applebaum, you can see where the sound of the album has come from. The quality and presentation is in safe hands. Putting all of these influences together makes the music sound great. We even have an enthralling chorus and wide variety of vocal styles.
The confident beginning of the album takes a step back on Lowland with a softer introduction. There’s a large focus of higher tempo vocals before the familiar guitar sound returns. It has a steadier beat with the sense that something big is coming. The vocal work is impressive but I’m less drawn into the track musically.
You And I & I sounds like if Queens Of The Stone Age and Muse made a super group. It’s a piece with fast climbing guitars and galloping drums. There’s high energy and and high anticipation with the lead tones ripping through. A gritty bridge with unclean vocals adds extra force to the song and makes the track sound more serious.
Monomoria has classic stoner/psych rock tones and riff progression. The mixing of the tones makes them sound so fresh and clean, whilst at the same time gritty. It’s a sonic explosion with another level of fuzzy guitar leads that rip through you.
U Drive Me Crazy takes another turn on the album into a blues rock piece. It has a stronger focus on the female vocals which makes a nice change on the record. 1994 however, is a harmonised pop piece of nostalgia like Bryan Adams’ Summer of ’69. It falls flat and is a huge breakaway in sound to what we’ve heard prior. When listening I was hoping it was just an awkward middle section of the album. Even the instrumentation felt lacklustre and that had been a stand out part of the album so far.
Hummingbird sees the return of the ferocious guitars with an accompanying gothic echo vocal effect in the background. The grooving riff hooks me in to the upbeat tempo verses. The break is classic Queens Of The Stone Age and the Reznor vocals got my blood pumping. There’s plenty of emotion being let out in this track.
Evil Twins is a piece full of anger from shouting vocals to dirty guitars. The bass-heavy verse breaks produce another upbeat aspect to their sound. Teenage Dreams gives us more of what we’ve already heard, but certainly packs a punch both musically and vocally.
Whispers is by no means quiet like the title suggests. The guitars sound huge and the track has an absorbing and wavy feel to the verse. The tones and mix just get better. The bass is turned up so high and I feel overwhelmed but in a good way. Because You’re The River is an easy acoustic finish. I’m ready to take a step back and think about what I’ve just heard.
Feed The Moon is an explosion of sound from Yard Of Blondes’ well-crafted musicianship. Not every track will knock you out of the ballpark and the middle of the album is forgettable. However, the tones and riffs of the guitars will instantly hook you if you enjoy hard rock. The vocal work is varied and fits the sound of the band nicely. This is a record well worth giving some time to.