Release Date: Mar 20, 2012
Record label: Dine Alone Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
On their driving sophomore full-length album, Vancouver-based Yukon Blonde tone down the neo-classic-rockisms and folky Fleet Foxes-aping and up the pop (and maybe even post-punk). Seeing how quickly both of those former genres are getting played out in this Sheepdogs-loving musical landscape, that's a good thing. The poncho-clad four-piece still deliver bright but warm tunes that will make a superb summer soundtrack, and the pop arrives through a Beach Boys-informed filter especially apparent in Oregon Shore's multi-part harmonies and Guns' verse melody.
Nothing proves the adage that what’s old is new again quite like indie rock. Conversely, whatever is new or reborn will quickly become old again. Everything seemingly gets a revival before it gets overdone or loses its novelty, with another widespread resurgence guaranteed sometime in the future. In 2010, Vancouver-based quartet Yukon Blonde made their full-length debut with a self-titled album that undeniably evoked 70’s radio rock, especially of the folk and American varieties.
We always want a rock revival, or at least they keep coming. The British Invasion invoked the golden era, and garage rock did the same, on through punk to Arcade Fire and beyond. What exactly constitutes the “good old days” is of course always up for grabs, though, and for their part, Yukon Blonde (Jeff Innes, Brandon Scott, Graham Jones, and John Jeffrey) take us back to the late ‘60s and ‘70s on their second full-length release, Tiger Talk.
There has been much buzz around Vancouver, BC's Yukon Blonde and their sophomore LP. Since the release of their Polaris-nominated, self-titled debut, the quartet have been busy releasing EPs and embarking upon lengthy supporting tours. Now they are doing it all over again in support of Tiger Talk. The band said that the record began with some punk-inspired demos that evolved into an album that was "a lot faster," with "a lot more harmonies." Tiger Talk follows a consistent, fast-paced tempo that brings to mind classic punk and post-punk influences (the Clash, Japandroids).
Tiger Talk, the sophomore LP from BC-based Americana-philes Yukon Blonde, begins halfway down the highway. One second into “My Girl,” the overlapping bounce of drum kicks and staccato chords go skidding by at 80 miles per hour. At 11 seconds, crystal-clear arpeggios pan up to a spotless blue ribbon of sky, and by the half-minute mark Jeff Innes, the mad captain of this sudden-onset joyride, confirms in a slight, giddy drawl what we already suspected: “You have these urges to just drive when you’re drunk/I have these urges to just ride along.” We didn’t need Innes to tell us that we’re in motion—or that we’re in the passenger’s seat of a Canadian caravan barreling beard-first down American interstates.
A lot of North American music over rock ‘n’ roll’s history has been about travelling and the feelings evoked by getting in a car or train, forgetting all your worries and just seeing where life takes you. Canadian quintet Yukon Blonde regularly explore those themes and their second album, ‘Tiger Talk’, is a freewheeling career down the interstate.Yukon Blonde are a band in thrall to the past and their 1970s style AOR rock sound is pleasant throughout and occasionally thrilling and invigorating. There is an age-old classicism to their take on a traditional sound and ‘Tiger Talk’ is filled with jangling melodies and bursting hooks.