Yellow & Green
Aug 16, 2012 Web Exclusive
On Yellow & Green, the Savannah, Georgia rock unit's sound continues to evolve in a similar fashion as their two previous color-themed albums. Red Record was a culmination of the cranked sludge metal assault developed on the band's early-career EPs, while Blue Record took listeners on a more nuanced, slightly prog rock ride, with varied approaches toward a still-headbang-worthy endgame. Their new double LP is divided into two halves; each nine-track disc—one Yellow, one Green—has a distinct tone: Yellow is the harder-rocking half, Green is its experimental, moodier sister. Overall a gentler record than its predecessors, Yellow & Green exchanges volume (loudness) for volume (mass): while Blue and Red contained around 45 minutes of music each, this double LP tops a whopping 75 minutes.
Yellow packs more of a punch; tracks such as "Take My Bones Away" and "March to the Sea" are highly melodic blasts of hard rock, not totally unlike some of Blue. Still, Baroness are finding new ways to sound heavy, whether it's through spooky acoustic guitars in "Twinkler" or the winding synths of "Cocainium." Green is a different beast altogether, with long, quiet, atmospheric stretches, post-rock instrumentals and—most notably—several moments of calm beauty. It's hard to decide whether the light, poppy "Psalms Alive" or the soothing closer "If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry" is a bigger surprise.
A straight listen-through can be an overwhelming experience, due to the rock barrage of Yellow clashing somewhat with the up-and-down tonal shifts that occur into Green; each half is more easily digestible taken on its own. It may not be as cohesive as Blue or as lean and mean as Red, but Yellow & Green is an ambitious sprawl of music from a band willing to reinvent themselves with each album. (www.baronessmusic.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 8/10
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