Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yards and Gods Compilation, Volume 1

This will be the first in a series of posts on the music of Yards and Gods, our local co-op record label. (If you recall, these are the guys who put on the snazzy Yards and Gods Ball earlier this month.)

(Ursus Arctos at the Yards and Gods Ball, courtesy of Colossal Youth)

Like a lot of people here in Columbia, I have a tendency to write off anything local as sub-par sub-pop, but there are amazing bands right here in our own humid, bluegrass-infested backyard. I've been checking out the Yards and Gods releases this week to see what kind of noisy mischief our gang of co-opers has gotten up to... and its a lovely, lovely ruckus.

I started with Yards and Gods Compilation, Volume 1 as a general intro to the collective Yards and Gods sound. Local Prozac'er Living in Misery already reviewed this album back in February and did a damn fine job, but I've only recently become aware of the label and the bands. I just read that Volume 2 is expected sometime this winter, so check out Volume 1 now while it's still the darling of its parents.

You get a wide variety of sounds on this compilation. Volume 1 starts with a growl from Ursus Arctos and a sucker punch from The Makeouts before drifting into star-filled ambience with Nonreturner and In Dark Trees. Palisades takes you by the hand and brings you back to earth for the second Ursus Arctos jam. By the time things turn inward again with the moody late-night delirium of Nonreturner, Palisades is there again to end things on a camp-fire note, gathering round for a hippie sing-along.

I'm partial to Nonreturner, which instrumentally reminds me of Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins and those teen-angsty days when black was my mental and physical uniform. (The live track is a gorgeous gloomfest of Thom Yorke delicacy.) But I also got red-riding-hooded into the forbidding woods of In Dark Trees, snaring myself in its gnarled branches of ambient sadness.

There's plenty of upbeat stuff here, too: Ursus Arctos keeps things revved-up and satisfies the garage-rock revivalists with a little help from The Makeouts and their blissfully Kinksy basics. Not to be passed over by either the garage rockers or the shoegazers, Palisades makes endearingly honest music, stripped down to organ-and-guitar soul.

Michael and Zach from Yards and Gods were kind enough to let me post as many MP3s as my ravenous horde desires, and so I'm sharing all eight tracks from the compilation.

Yards and Gods Compilation, Volume 1

1. "Autumn Ball Blues" by Ursus Arctos

2. "I Want Your Love" by The Makeouts

3. "Awash" by Nonreturner

4. "Some Summer Night" by In Dark Trees

5. "All This Could Be Yours and Mine" by Palisades

6. "Fanciest Glass of Water" by Ursus Arctos

7. "Food for the Wild Dogs (Live)" by Nonreturner

8. "Days of Wine and Roses" by Palisades

Be sure to check out all of the Yards and Gods releases. More Yards and Gods reviews to come...


  1. That comp is a nice collection of well-crafted music, for sheezy. Thanks for the shout-out. I had forgotten about that post.

  2. Non-returner is FANTASTIC! Nice stuff....

  3. Finally, a real music blog in Columbia!

  4. Thanks a ton for the nice comments!

    Yards and Gods deserves all sorts of praise.

  5. Also, be sure to check out Living in Misery and Colossal Youth... two music blogs with really amazing album reviews.

  6. The whole comp is great, looking forward to vol. 2. "Food for the Wild Dogs" is my fav Nonreturner song yet.