Album Reviews

Yoriyos – Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

(Rarechords) UK release date: 4 December 2006

Yoriyos is country-lite, at times reminiscent of John Denver and at others of Smog. Opening track Endoscopises even has traces of Nirvana at their most acoustic and on this as well as other tracks across the album, he serves up frontierstown country accordions one minute and dreamy, ethereal Americana the next. Which makes it all the more interesting that he is (I think) European.

At times his music seems lost in a forgotten time warp of the 70s – and the 1870s at that – while taking a trip to his website will expose you to the kind of Native American imagery that generally results from hippies, peace pipes and peyote mushrooms being left too close together for too long a time.

There’s many a place in the music world at the moment for an acoustic singer-songwriter with a guitar, an accordion and a tipi and where Yoriyos might really have carved out his niche is in grabbing the cheery end of this, falling somewhere between Bright Eyes, Smog and Calexico sound tracking a remake of Little House On The Prairie.

Vocals as clear as a Montana river rise above the gentle strumming to float homespun tales of the wonder of nature towards your ears. The End is particularly dreamy, a lullaby for around the campfire when you know the bandits have been held at bay and the stars are twinkling gently overhead.

If for any chance you head for his website before actually hearing any of his music, make sure you don’t let the atrocious, uber-naff 70s airbrushed graphics of flute-playing trees and enchanted tipis put you off. Nor the overly pretentious dribbly biog information that remains determined not to offer up anything useful, like where he came from or what his real name might be. It all pales into insignificance next to the music’s plus points.

What can be gleaned from all this is that Yoriyos is obsessed with the Old West, from his imagery to his album titles, and is also known as Boy – who has a cat called Sgt Pepper. In its own mushroom-munching way this sort of helps to describe his music – maybe in an alternate universe it’s what The Beatles might have sounded like if they’d been American and had discovered Red Indians rather than the subcontinent kind. Trippy, dippy, peyote-soaked and very, very pleasant.

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Yoriyos – Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee