22 July 2009

YOB—The Great Cessation

Following the breakup of Middian after numerous hassles and setbacks, Mike Scheidt has returned with a reformed YOB and a new album. Though bassist Isamu Sato left for good following 2005's The Unreal Never Lived, drummer Travis Foster is back with new Middian (I'm an idiot) bassist Aaron Reiseberg filling Sato's spot. The result of this collaboration is The Great Cessation, an album that could just as easily been dubbed a Middian record (if not for those sue-happy jackasses in Wisconsin) as much as a YOB record.

Given that I can listen to The Unreal Never Lived repeatedly without ever remotely glimpsing boredom, it would take quite a feat for this trio to top that record with their new release. Still, I'm finding The Great Cessation to be a very enjoyable listen. It's not as demanding a listen, the riffs being generally more straightforward with less overt psychedelia, but there is something to be said for this record's simplicity.

I know a few people whose major complaint with YOB had been their tendency to meander and repeat excessively. There is little of that here; the songs are shorter and more focused, much like those on Middian's sole release, Age Eternal. However, the tempos have slowed again to proper YOB levels, eliciting those strains of dread and feelings of being gradually dragged ever downward.

So far my only issues with this record is the lack of immediately memorable riffage. For all its supposed excesses, The Unreal Never Lived had these in spades and some of the major themes and phrases on The Great Cessation seem more like b-side material from those sessions. They're all still really good, but they don't blow me away. Perhaps with some time and a few more listens I'll find myself humming these at work or something, but at the moment it's still too new.

Despite any minor complaints that I have at the moment, I like the album and consider it a continuation of good form. It's not perfect, but I wouldn't have expected such right off the bat. If these guys gel—which, given their somewhat shared histories shouldn't take long (again, dumb by above implication)—a follow-up to this record could be the cat's tits. Regardless, I'm gonna keep my eye out for any tours because I've never seen YOB live and I wouldn't consider catching these songs any sort of disappointment. This may not end up being one of the top records of the year, but I highly recommend picking it up because it could be a rather impressive grower, if not an immediate "whoa!"

1 comment:

Alex said...

thanks, Jen, for pointing out my mistake. i should probably make sure i'm using real facts in the future and not imaginary ones.

will lindsay was Middian's basser.