John Andrews and the Yawns - Bit By The Fang - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

John Andrews and the Yawns - Bit By The Fang

by Jim Harris Rating:8.5 Release Date:2015-04-13

If there was a genre called psychedelic-post-punk-alt-country, John Andrews would be sitting at the top of it. While he did all the music himself on Bit By the Fang and his backing band The Yawns is made up, that only fits with the clever execution of his first solo album.

Bit by the Fang starts off with one of the more oddly entertaining tracks you will ever hear. ‘Don’t Spook the Horses’ is a slice of bizarre Americana where you can only picture a barn filled with horses, the lazy effeminate vocals conjuring up all sorts of crazy reasons not to spook the horses.

‘Peace of Mind’ speeds this sort of odd alt-country delivery up a bit but also illustrates that the music can just as easily captivate you as the clever and well-written lyrics do. Throughout Bit By the Fang, the western saloon-style piano runs through the songs like wild horses through the prairie grass (if, in fact, the prairie grass is in a half-deserted, still-lit amusement park). 

John Andrews may be a drummer in another band, and still a member of yet more bands. Alone with his imagination is where he has created a compelling, delightful album of post-punk Americana, which may be this generation’s Rain Dogs.

One of the best tracks, ‘I’ll Go to Your Funeral (If You Go to Mine)’, creates the necessary uptempo tension, cultivating a feeling that you don’t know if Mr Andrews is making serious fun of country music or embracing it as an influence. It doesn’t matter really. It’s all so much fun.

Bit By the Fang is a fascinating musical carnival ride through the creative mindset of a supremely talented musician. John Andrews creates odd and compelling musical landscapes well worth listening to.

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