Review: The Yawpers – American Man

3.5 OUT OF 5 NUTS!

americanmanThe Yawpers characterize their music as being “Loud. Straightforward. American.” Based off that description, you can quickly form an idea in your mind as to what they sound like, and chances are you’d be exactly right.

The Denver, Colorado trio (Nate Cook on lead vocals and guitar, Jesse Parmet on slide guitar and harmonies, and Noah Shomberg on drums) delivers a rip-roaring brand of country rock, ranging from fist-pumping bar rockers to hoedowns to flag-waving anthems. Their second album, “American Man,” which was co-produced by Cracker’s Johnny Hickman, is a quality listen that will satisfy any fan of the brand of music The Yawpers specialize in.

American Man’s opening track, “Doin’ It Right,” employs a technique that you’ll find in various songs throughout the album — it starts with a slow build, then gives you a swift kick in the ass when the hard rockin’ sets in. It’s fun, and hard not to like.

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The foot-stomping “Deacon Brodie” is another immediately likable track, highlighting that The Yawpers can rock with considerable muscle when they crank up the tempo:

The signature song of American Man is the title track, which serves as a lament to a bygone era that some Americans yearn to go back to.

I loved it once, but she’s starting to break
The life we won is being given away
When I’m losing faith I hear the preacher say
Treasure the past, it’s the American Way
I’ve never been the sort to head downtown
There’s too much color, and too much sound
If my father could see this, he’d burn it all down
It was sacred to him this American ground
The modern world has got me up on a wall
They call it living, I’m hardly living at all
In times of trouble, I pray to god that I never have to take it too far
So raise the flag, cover you heart with your hand
Hear the call, and heed the command
Living my life with my head in the sand
Praise the lord I’m an American man

It’s a song that feels destined to find its way onto a television commercial someday, although it feels a lot closer to criticism than patriotism, a la Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” Melancholy looks at American life is a recurring theme on the album; on “9 to 5”, Cook paints a picture of someone giving up their dreams and surrendering to the rat race:

You set out of your nightmare, and promised everyone
There was no roundtrip ticket, there was no coming home
You went to the congregation, convinced no one of your worth
You walked across the nations, still found no place on earth
Take the freedom of a 9 to 5

American Man will certainly strike the right chord with its intended audience and also carries some appeal for listeners who may not usually get into country and/or roots rock flavor. The album also presents a band worth keeping an eye on with plenty of future potential.

Release Date: October 30, 2015

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