The Yawpers, Human Question (Bloodshot Records)
Denver trio The Yawpers are intense and dynamic on Human Question, a rambunctious album tracing some of the many paths that rock n roll takes through its deep foundations in the blues.
The bands fourth album encompasses from approximations to white noise and Zeppelin-esque grooves to folky sentiments and indie jangle in R.E.M./Replacements mode. Its being presented as lead singer Nate Cooks therapy record, a more intimate approach than their previous release.
Where Boy in a Well, from 2017, explored the story of a semi-abandoned newborn in World War I-era France, Human Questions often sounds like the rush and chaos of present times.
With exceptions, Cooks traumas seem to be projected on the world, not kept within. Carry Me, an epic track that goes from whispers to screams, a squawking sax solo and a quiet end, is one of the most personal and straightforward, if close to unhinged — Lie to me, its all I need/Tell me you love me ... And youll carry me through.
The acoustic center of Man as Ghost camouflages an appealing combination of tortured and relaxed, with one of the albums most haunting, schizophrenic lines — Im neighbor with another man/who moves where ever I decide to live.
The title track is another enigmatic highlight echoing the early 70s, while Dancing on My Knees, possibly about coming to terms with divorce, is bluesy and visceral though only half as much as Forgiveness Through Pain.
Respite comes with the final two tracks, Cant Wait, whose title evoking a Replacements classic is not the only similarity, and Where the Winters End, which could be a rewrite of Bob Dylans Forever Young in elegy mode.