On Saturday Drag, YOWL certainly approached perfection. Their clever lyrics are matched by a brilliant composition swimming with anxieties and fizzed out Indie Rock flavours. Is it a masterpiece? It just might be. Third Outing introduce you to YOWL.
"Mostly we bounce off something one of us has come to rehearsals with; usually there’ll be a vague agreement on the sound based on whatever music we’ve been passing around to each other in the weeks beforehand. Thematically, our inspirations mostly seem to consist of half-baked conspiracy theories, gratuitously violent schlock-horror; essentially, anything that we can twist to convey our own take on the human condition is fair pickings"...
"I think many of us experience that jittery yet morose sensation of being stuck in a job that you probably won’t be able to escape until you’re much, much older and yearning for those two days you have off every week and then finally getting to the weekend and feeling totally bored and without purpose yet dreading falling asleep and waking up to another Monday...oh god oh god oh god! It’s ground that’s been covered a lot in various forms but it’s still a brutal paradox"...
"Once we were playing a gig and a guy shouted "HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE SO ANGRY?" at us after we’d finished one of our songs. I didn’t really know what to say so I just said "real bad", but I don’t think anybody heard so I felt a bit like a shit comedian. I guess the real answer is that inside us all is an angry person who doesn’t get to be angry nearly enough, and our songs convey try to convey that"...
"There’s a phenomenal old pub in New Cross called the Marquis of Granby and it’s got a jukebox. Going to one of our gigs is like watching one of the regulars pick a series of six Madonna songs and lip syncing sleazily to them while slopping a pint of Guinness all over the carpet"...
On Saturday Drag, there is a line you might yell at someone across an empty room, half-drunk paranoiac: "I went to the doctor and I said I'm scared again. Now I am scared of everyone." But here it’s not hollered, it’s sung, almost poetically so, by Yowl's front man Gabriel Byrde. The band might at first sound apathetic and extremely laid-back, like they don't really care. But if you listen closely, their music goes beyond.
First, the lyrics are directly self-reflective, dealing with real everyday troubles. For the vocals, though it sounds like Byrde just woke up and doesn't really make the effort to sing, it is actually the opposite, as the sheer effort to give 'release' seems to put more thought into every single word. Trying to find the holy in the mundane is a difficult thing, isn't it?
And so in our minds YOWL stands for one thing; "how to have casual, laconic delivery, with deep underlying poetic themes". Gabriel Byrde is doing all this eloquent wordplay, but he’s shedding it like it’s nothing. It makes it stick so much more. You can be forgiven for missing the lyrics on first listen because they don’t sound like they’re supposed to be important, and then they creep into your brain and work on you later. That's rare. And that's why you listen again.
YOWL's sound is chaotic, it's anxious, and has definite throw-back to David Berman's Silver Jews. The bass flows perfectly, the mid tempo slowly and eventually gets quicker, darker and 'drunker'. And so the song takes you on a journey. But for us it's all about the melody supporting this incredible vocal line, and making it stand out above all rest, creating the most important thing, the story. Merging everything together, and considering it all as one great adventure, YOWL have created almost the perfect song where nothing sounds out of place, and everything sounds 'right there'.