Noisy brawlers Yautja tackle shitty politics, personal fury with face-mangling ‘The Lurch’

Photo by Chappy Hull

Living in a suburb of Pittsburgh, a place very much in the north, you don’t have to go too far to find people who are living deep in denial about the last election, who can’t help themselves in supporting a loser former president, his disastrous, uh, I guess policy, and who cling to ideas that largely spout white supremacy. It’s frustrating and sickening, but I also realize enough of where I live is fairly liberal, and finding places and people who don’t embarrass me isn’t that difficult.

For Yautja, a band that claims Nashville, Tenn., as home, they’re in the heart of the south, where they are situated deep in redneck culture and much of the same bullshit listed above. I’m annoyed enough if I try to read a news story on a local news station’s social media when I have to see the absolute assholes spouting their bullshit, but to be living among that cannot be the best thing for a band—bassist/vocalist Kayhan Vaziri, guitarist/vocalist Shibby Poole, drummer/vocalist Tyler Coburn—that doesn’t agree with those views. That anger and frustration is all over their hammering new record “The Lurch,” their second full-length and first since 2014. The record is noisy, punishing, and reckless, directing their stew of metal, noise, punk, hardcore, you name it toward the dumb shits surrounding them who don’t realize the election is actually over.

“A Killing Joke” gets things started with extreme demolition right away as harsh cries smash, and the playing feels like rubbery hell. The punishment mashes, your guts spill out, and then we’re into “The Spectacle” where the bass and drums smear together like a beast. Calculated fury explodes as the track smashes away, the growls slice, and the drums decimate. Your senses are put to the test, as your brains are stretched out, and you’re into “Wired Depths” that delivers proggy bass and a sprawling attack while sinewy guitars wrench into your chest. The guitars get muddy and rotten, the playing feels dexterous, the growls slip into your wounds, and everything grounds and pounds until it finally relents. “Undesirables” runs 7:13, the longest track on the album, and slow-driving guitars and dizzying shrieks begin to have their way. The track is noisy as hell as the bass lurches, guitars pile on and agitate, and the whole thing drives hard until the final moments bludgeon.

“Tethered” launches with a fury as your will is mashed, and massive hell is unleashed all over the place. The drums go off as all signals are jammed up, heavy smashing lays waste, and everything blasts into oblivion. “Clock Cleaner” has guitars chugging, noise simmering, and a tempered pace that aims to rip your face off. The vocals dig into your psyche, the bass clubs, and the track knocks down proverbial houses. “Catastrophic” arrives with noise hanging overhead and a crazed pace that takes hold and jolts your muscles. The growls agitate as the playing gets muddy and vicious, grisly vocals sizzle, and the track is pounded into dirt. “The Weight” is shifty and thrashing, the vocals lay waste, and your flesh comes alive with heat. The melodies are spindly and thrashy, hard yells add salt to the wound, and the drums clobber to the finish. “Before the Foal” is your closer, and it immediately has a weird vibe, and bendy guitars make you tilt your head with confusion. Harsh howls and devastating playing unite as the speed kicks in, and the melodies sprawl. The band pounds away, static swallows you, and the track rips out into deep outer space.

Yautja’s intensity is off the charts on “The Lurch,” a record that is packed with very understandable and righteous rage that assaults you for 45 minutes. It’s not hard to understand where they’re coming from with these songs and their mentality, especially if you’ve paid even an ounce of attention to current events and how our society has struggled. This is an album landing at the right time, and there needs to be more furious documents like this that identify the bullshit and call it out to its face.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/YautjaTN

To buy the album, go here: https://store.relapse.com/item/98012

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

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