Available Dec. 14, 2010
Review By Andy McNeil, Assistant Editor
It’s hard to say no to Way Yes. Whether it’s the Muppet-like vocals or the island inspired beats – the duo has managed to create one of the year’s most unique releases while living in the land of the bland.
Columbus, Ohio, an often overlooked Midwestern rose between two urban thorns, isn’t necessary the first location that you might associate with a breezy worldbeat indie band, but Glenn Davis and Travis Hall have transformed the banks of the Scioto River into Kokomo.
The band is set to formally release Herringbone, a fanciful six track EP, on December 14 (the EP was release digitally earlier this year).
Herringbone wastes little of Davis and Hall’s diverse instrumental talents. The clean guitar work on opening track, “Cinnamon,” is fast moving and upbeat. The vocals range from harmonized falsetto to a quirky Kermit the Frog style that may not be the best aesthetic choice, but it’s sure to make listeners smile.
The band really lets their African influences soar on “Johanna.” The song sports obvious musical influences such Nigerian afrobeat king Fela Kuti and a touch of Paul Simon’s apartheid-defying album Graceland. The track sounds like it could easy blend in with Vampire Weekend’s Contra minus the Ivy League credentials.
Way Yes bring in plucky intertwining guitar lines on “Spicy Ice Cream” and kick off “Plastic Crystal Skull Spoons” with a throaty bullfrog beat. The latter song makes good on delivering Indian Jones references and is lyrically about what your 7-year-old self hoped it would be about – cereal box prizes.
“Drus” serves as more of a segue into the final song, “Color Blind,” than a standalone instrumental piece, which is a little disappointing. The closing number carries on the do-wah-style “oh way” chant from the previous track. It layers Animal Collective-like vocals (Herringbone’s artwork also seems to draw some influence from the Brooklynites’ cover for Merriweather Post Pavilion) with a fantastic synth line that bubbles to-and-fro before breaking into an 80s dance floor anthem.
Way Yes show that Herringbone isn’t just a pattern on the suits of old curmudgeonly misers. It’s a fun loving take on indie pop. A band that understands the joys of making music that rides on tropical breezes – even in America’s heartland.
More Info and Music at The Official Way Yes Website