Fine inaugural document from Italy’s Slumberwood, “Yawling Night Songs” touches on a multitude of influences and styles. More often than not, this can give one a sense that the band is a hodgepodge of reference points; a sonic quilt. What results is the impression the band has no real direction.
However, this is not the case with Slumberwood.
They pull the multi-directional approach almost perfectly, incorporating a wealth of interests into a cohesive, convincing swirl of often tense psychedelic bliss. Just as often, they give into lambent stretches worth of any flame caught in the embrace of a gentle breeze.
Beginning with the almost ambient cut “Yahoo” straight through to the final track “The Bride Side,” we hear an incredible range of music that never loses interest for the listener; or this one, anyway.
Throughout we hear touchstones of Sonic Youth, blatant submersion and their own unique translation of the blues, frantic vocal explorations worthy of the Plastic Ono Band and even hints of bluegrass on that final song mentioned above, with its alternating octave bass line. I say hints because it is only slightly obliterated from the drum aggression and semi-atonal jangle of the guitar.
As a whole, “Yawling Night Songs” is accessible at points (for the casual, mainstream listener) and fleeting at others. It takes an unusual chemistry to pull of such a wide-ranging project, but this band managed to do it. 8/10 -- P. Somniferum (1 July, 2009)