It’s been a big summer for the Yin Yangs, the Brooklyn garage-psych-punk outfit you’ve most likely seen at any number of DIY venues around town. Right before they took off on a Southern tour, the trio played Gigawatts Fest back in July alongside their up-and-coming peers, some of the best rock bands in the city right now (Heaven’s Gate, Surfbort, Vulture Shit, Future Punx, etc.). And in September they’re dropping a new tape, Taste, their first true release since unleashing their digital demos in 2013. Lucky for you we got our grubby paws on “21st Century,” and are premiering the brand new track right here, right now for your listening pleasure.
Judging by this lil’ preview off the tape, the Yangs are on a darker tip. The guitar and bass come through with brute force, something not so clear from the demos, but definitely an element of their live presence. I spoke with bass player Brendan Winick right after Gigawatts and he revealed that Taste isn’t so much a cohesive force as it is a mosaic of their recent efforts.
“The tape includes six songs that we recorded in three different studios with three different recording engineers, including a couple at 1989 Recordings the space inside the Silent Barn,” he explained.
The result is a bunch of tracks Brendan said were “smushed together on one tape.” Prior to this tape, the Yin Yangs only released material they’d recorded on their own. “It’s all pretty lo-fi,” he said. “This is much more sophisticated in terms of production value and I think more developed songwriting happened on these. We’re just more established with each other and as a band at this point.”
Despite the thrashier vibes, the Yangs have maintained their trademark hint of wackiness, which is most obvious in their vocals. There’s an effervescent, yet quavering quality to them, one that I’ve only heard echoed by the New England Patriots (lol not the sports team, you dog). Together with hardened, fast but sludgy guitars the Yin Yangs convene as an unholy scuba summit plotting the destruction of an invading sea monster army.
When I first saw the Yin Yangs play last year at Radio Bushwick, they stood out amongst a sea of pop-driven bands. Instead of rehashing carefully crafted, digestible ditties they were whipping out raw-as-hell rituals of hysteria. Their act was more about evoking a feeling rather than simply going through a set. “Doesn’t this remind you of bands from Detroit?” a friend asked me. Yeah, it did.
For some reason, it seems harder to find bands hailing from Brooklyn (rock bands anyway, noise is whole ‘nother story) that allow themselves to fall backwards into chaos. Most maintain a marketable, replicable sound. But the Yangs surprised me with their ability to buck this trend. Bass player Brendan agreed. We concluded that this can maybe be attributed to each members’ backgrounds in a variety of relatively down-trodden locales, each with raucous, punkish music scenes of their own: drummer Alex Fippinger hails from Iowa, Brendan is from Florida, and guitarist Max Braun lived in New Orleans for a time.
Each member has their hand in different projects– Alex is in a new band called Junk Boys (members of Dream Police and Organs) and Max is in Retail (if early aughts screamo and Modest Mouse had a brief love affair). But it seems it’s the Yin Yangs where all of their musical powers converge with equal weight.
“All three of us in The Yin Yangs, we all write the songs together, we all sing, we all play guitar. And we all kind of work out the song structures and play our respective instruments to support each other’s material,” said Brendan, who played in Diet Jesus before the band broke up.
Details have JUST emerged on what exactly’s gonna go down at the tape release show on September 12, happening at IDIO Gallery in East Williamsburg. Taste, from Time Castle Tapes, will be available for your purchasing pleasure and of course the Yin Yangs will treat y’all with a set, along with a diverse lineup from BAMBARA (industrial, proggy outfit Brooklyn by way of Georgia), MPHO (a disco death sentence), and Prima (powerful chatter punk, wow give them a listen please). Get there to pick up your hardcopy of Taste.