YOB, via DazeNews.com
Everyone in the music business has at least one band, genre or instrument that they’re absolutely obsessed with. For the better part of a decade, my passion fell into a special spectrum of the metal scene – doom, sludge, and stoner rock. Bands like Neurosis, Sunn O))) and Goatsnake are among the bands that I regarded with a kind of wide-eyed reverence. Each time the special low frequencies of Earth 2 came crashing through my speakers, I found myself more devoted to finding the next big thing to shake the Northwest.
In 2005, I found it.
It happened while I was working at my college’s radio station (I’m looking at you, KPSU). Someone clued me in to a band from Eugene who was starting to make it big, and I reached out to a friend at Metal Blade records to help push me a copy of their newest record, The Unreal Never Lived. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The whole office was perfectly drenched in deep, violent sonic textures. A coworker came into the office from another room, and in a moment of sanguine approval, he flashed me a smile and just said, “Yeaaaa.” This disc fit the bill. This was the real thing.
There are a lot of metal bands out there, and the Pacific Northwest is home to many of them who will never make it. Coming from the unassuming place of Eugene, Oregon, YOB are one of the few who have succeeded brilliantly. They’re considered by many to be one of the best doom bands still performing, and have survived member changes, a break up, a subsequent reunion with high expectations, and side projects that might have put them off course (Middian was great – I had a chance to catch them in a garage in Boise years ago – but they never quite captured the enormity of YOB). If you’re at all a fan of heavy, heavy music, there’s no question that this is a band to know.
Maybe I’m gushing a bit to put this much love into a band. I think that my pride in YOB is well deserved. There is no band that matches their style and intensity. In fact, my ears are still aching from the low end of their reunion performance at the Ash Street Saloon a few years ago. To this day, you’d be hard pressed to find a band anywhere that really controls the spirit of doom as well as these guys do.
Still, the band may not be destined for a life time of touring. Their short break up a few years ago is a reminder that no band is immune from the stressful realities of being in a band. That means that it’s all the more important that you catch them on July 1st at El Corazon. There aren’t too many opportunities to see a band like this, but when you do, you’ll know that you’re seeing something special. Check out this impromptu video of them performing one of my favorite songs during their 2005 tour, shortly before the moment when they called it quits.
Tickets to this (incredibly awesome) show are available exclusively via Cascade Tickets.