Monday, March 23, 2009

Yeah Whatever - A force to be reckoned with.

So, I've had the extreme pleasure of knowing these guys for the about the last six months. Their music is simple, yet inspirational just like their story. Their friends and I know them as, Evan, Mike, Rob and Tony, but legions of fans worldwide know them as Yeah Whatever.

Formed over five years ago they have fought tooth and nail up through the ranks of an idealistic garage band to the underground sensation they are known as today.

This powerful alternative hard rock quartet has seen their fair share of ups and downs, through in-fighting, sparsely attended performances and bogus recording contracts they have managed to do the impossible and stick together. Kudos, my friends.

The freshman album "Dispensing Disaster" quickly became a cult hit among existing fans and eventually was able to grab the attention of hard rock groupies world wide. With songs like "Downfall" and "And she knows" paving the way for a radio blow out and hard hitting songs like "Dispensing Disaster and "Down Mother" ready to explode into underground clubs you would assume that these guys would be preparing for fame in and outside of the media playground. Unfortunately, bad promoting, lack of proper management and an all around feel of inexperience lead to the crash and burn of this first attempt. Now don't get me wrong, they had success of this first album, just not nearly as much as they could have had. You can find some of these songs on movie soundtracks, television shows and even catch quick flashes of the band on "The Lost Boys 2" and "Blood Ties".

Dispensing Disaster holds a collage of songs that seem to fit into a few different genres of music including, hard rock, alternative rock, pop rock and so on. The songs seem to be aimed at today's simple minded youth with an intense focus, especially considering the A.D.D. epidemic that has been consuming young listeners lately. They keep it hard and simple, leaving out all the confusion of complex metal style guitar rifts and thoughtful lyrics. It's the type of music that anyone can relate to, and anyone can get lost in. I, personally, quite enjoy the song "Play God" it has an old school feeling and showcases the incredible raw talent of singer Evan Allen. His controlled and rough around the edges vocals draw listeners in and the smooth bass lines and early 90's style guitar rifts keep you focused. And just when you thought that this song was just another sappy ballad, Mike Witherington breaks into the bridge with a guitar solo fit for the stadium stage, I only wish that he would have stretched it out for a couple more bars. I would even compare this to that of Joe Perry, and for those of you who know my love of Aerosmith, know that's a pretty big compliment.

Over all, this album was excellent first attempt and leaves the listener waiting with baited breath for the next release.

Next out, we have the much more polished "Hell is Full". This album definitely shows growth both musically and professionally. "Aww, their all growed up."

Once again, we have repetitive lyrics and simplistic harmonies, but now we have a tighter sound, harder hitting drumming, and more focus on the bass line.

We start our listening pleasure off with "Control" a fast paced radio friendly hard rock song, built for the fans that like it hard but have yet to divulge into the power that is underground metal.

Up next we have "Hell is Full" a more kind of angsty teen ballad. The song is very drawn out and I find that it never really gets going. It does pick up for the chorus, but the intensity doesn't stick around long. Mike once again comes through with a short and to the point guitar solo, that only leaves you wanting more. It's a good song but you have to do better to hold my focus.

Next we have a few basic rock songs, obviously constructed for radio play. There's not a lot to them but they have a good beat that you can't help but move or bang your head to.

"Fight" which was recently released in Canada, starts out with a catchy guitar line that seems to stay sweet and simple throughout. The only really unfortunate thing about this single is the drumming by numbers, come on Tony, let's try stepping out of the box for a minute. The song has some great melodies and anthem style chanting, I can picture kids with their fists in the air all over the world rockin out to this song. You have to give it to Yeah Whatever, they know how to write a song that the people wanna hear.

Okay, so next on the docket we have "This all ends tonight", which starts out with an awesome display of screaming prowess. I am more impressed with this song, as it has harder hitting drumming, rougher vocals, a faster tempo, and at moments even mimics the unmistakable sound of a metal band. Definitely i-Pod worthy.

"I.D.F.T.S" opens with a deep jungle beat care of Tony, then goes into more punk style drumming, which gives the song a definite party feel. And then wait for it, FINALLY, a guitar solo that lasts more than 5 seconds! The high pitch scream and quick fingering make this solo one for the books.

Alright, lastly we have "Machine". Personally I wouldn't have ended an album with a song containing such a lackluster drum solo, but hey, it ain't my band. This song takes me back to the sheer simplicity of the first album. There are some melodies, some metal deep throated vocals, and a couple of primitive chants at the end to finish it off. Honestly I could forgive all of this, if there was a double kick thrown into the mix. The song feels like it's missing something, and I think that may be it.

So overall, I think this band has enough potential to break onto the charts and stay in the top five for as long as they produce albums. They just have to put their individual issues aside, focus on the music, and keep fighting till they get there. Close to every song on these two albums could be a radio hit and the fans agree that Yeah Whatever is a force to be reckoned with in the underground music scene.

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