Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yogoman Burning Band

It may be known as being city that gave us Death Cab for Cutie, but there is no shortage of Bellingham based indie bands. One of these bands is Yogoman Burning Band, a band who's music is a combination of reggae, ska, punk, dancehall, and a dash of folk thrown in for good measure. Their first CD, released in 2007, is an upbeat reggae album, and although some of the songs don't seem to be about anything in particular, the feel of the album just makes you want to dance.
Their second album "City of Subdued Excitement", released in 2009 is considerably different from the first album. Although the reggae influence is still noticeable in many songs, the album as a whole has a more folk/country feel to it, and some songs feel like they would be well suited to a smokey 1920s dancehall. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Yogoman Burning Band's second album is just as amazing as its first.
The other reason this band is amazing is because of their live shows. In 2008, I had the opportunity to see Yogoman Burning Band live, at WHAAM in Bellingham,

the energy of their performance was amazing, and the performance itself was very tight. Very quickly they had nearly everybody dancing, from the very young to the older audience members. If you get the chance to see this band, I suggest you take it, you will not be disappointed.

CD Review - Mt St Helens Vietnam Band

The name alone gets your attention, but that's not the only thing to like about this group. The debut album from the Seattle based Mt St Helens Vietnam Band is best described as musical cut-and-past. Although the album has been criticized for that reason, I think that the upbeat, shifting tempo, and the unpredictability of the songs create an energetic feel, and are exactly what makes the album great.
The fact that the band is different from a majority of the current bands in the Pacific Northwest is a strength, not a weakness.