Release Date: Jun 19, 2012
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Nothing says meditative, deep, and spiritual like acoustic guitars. Or so seems to go the logic of YOB frontman Mike Scheidt’s unwieldy solo turn from the bludgeoning doom metal for which he’s best known. On Stay Awake, Scheidt loses the crushing dynamics and cuts his average song length down to a radio-friendly seven minutes from the usual 10 to 20, but his thematic bluntness plays better with foul weather moodiness than pensive enlightenment, and his vocal extremes sound far more natural on top of mountain-sized guitars than understated folk.
This is the debut solo effort by Mike Scheidt, native Oregonian and founding member, guitarist and vocalist of YOB. That band are best known for their massive doom metal sound and riffs that slam into the listener like asteroids colliding with the battered surface of a pockmarked moon. Stay Awake is well outside the aesthetic he's created for YOB. The songs are composed of just his voice and acoustic guitar, with the occasional sound of waves, wind or layered choral vocals.