Thursday, August 15, 2013

Album Review: Mission Bulb by Yes I'm Leaving - a sonic trip worth taking

The first track, Creepyman, I heard off of Mission Bulb the latest album by the 3 piece noise rock band Yes, I'm Leaving (out of Sydney, Australia) left me pulling the blankets over my face. It is the kind of mind numbing intense acidic hard rock that would perfectly fit the latest remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is Black Sabbath meets Nirvana meets Charles Manson. Intense for sure and while it engaged me (like it was supposed to) it didn't necessarily get my expectations up.
Nevertheless,there was something in this song that pulled me in and so I pushed play from the first track like you should when you listen to an album for the first time. From the first 15 seconds on track one - Endless Mind- these guys got their hooks in me. The jagged guitar lines pumping with the drums felt like a grungier version of the hardest Smashing Pumpkins song. The guitar breaks took interesting turns, Song For You also diverted from the direct rock psychosis of Creepyman but is just as intense. The descending nature of the chord progression almost has a Beatle-esque flavor buried in the rock intensity that almost felt a little like Queens Of The Stonage.

By the time Puts You in the Ground hit my ears it was evident that Yes, I'm Leaving while bathed in over-modulated vocals and serious rock chops also exhibit in their sound some really elegant rock melodies that elevate them above the average noise / garage / post punk band. Hey! My Soul Will Heal has a super cool heavy groove and a narcotic edgy lead assault but breathes dynamically letting us hear Bill Burke's vocals in a more natural state. This is a slow burner and one of the stand outs on this record. Four Chorder continues with a more spartan sound but erupts into a more 90's grunge rock indie feel. Undertow continues to sway in an almost Pablo Honey-esque 90's rock milieu. It is lush sleepy ballad really. Another total surprise, another flavor.

Creepyman is back and the tonal shift from Undertow is so striking. It also makes more sense to me after hearing the different strains of rock that these Aussies crank out. You Can Try has a straight forward party meets psychedelia feel with a manic underbelly. It is perfect for shuffle dancing while holding your beer without spilling much of it. There is something almost surf punky in this one as well. Mission Bulb (track 9) cooks and feels like a blend of this bands heavier tunes and more mellow indie (mellow for these guys is not that mellow).

There are a lot of songs on Mission Bulb that beg to be listened to live but maybe on the top of my list would be Wait. It has so many tasty parts, heavy grooves, is dynamically charged and explodes at all the right times. Love this song. I know this sounds weird but as I listened to it I thought of Stone Temple Pilots, The Dead Kennedys and Queens of The Stone Age (again) all at once. This surprisingly varied album ends with a sultry shifty dangerous sounding song called JimJam which is some distant way channels Led Zeppelin. Yeah, it does.

In the end, Mission Bulb has a lot to offer. On one hand, stylistically it can feel a little bit all over the place but then I will take that over a one tone type of band any day. If this is, indeed, an album with multiple personalities they all take you on different sonic trips that are worth taking. Yes, I'm Leaving is my discovery of the week. Good job guys.

Robb Donker

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