Yearbooks - Inside
Yearbooks is Kris, Vincenzo, Peter and Brian. The screamo fourpiece recently released their first full-length called “Inside”, which follows their debut EP “See You Next Year”. The record got premature praise from the screamo institution “CMHWAK” who called the record “Best Skramz record in years”. So there was no other choice than to check out this album. And in fact, I totally understand this gushing feedback, since I really liked “Inside” from the first listen on.
The album is opened by “Act of Contrition”, which starts straightforwardly, giving the listener a pretaste on the following seven tracks. After this furious introduction, the vocals on the following “You Can't Go Home Again” are less rough. But do not think that it’s losing any dynamic or intensity, no! While the vocals are changing the pace from slow to fast and the other way around, the instruments create a cheery atmosphere. The song finds its highlight during the last third, as different vocals are combined to a chorus, which is only accompanied by the sound of a distorted guitar.
"No one stares as hard as me. No one says what I have said. No one is as mean as me. No one scars me as deep as me."
The next song “Someone to Watch Over Me” starts with a nice drum solo. As vocals, guitar and bass drop in, the song gathers pace, awekening the urge to just let go and dance. With 4:30, the subsequent “A Measure of Salvation” is the longest track on the album. During the whole song, which connects fluently to its forerunner, the desperate screams change in style and tempo, creating a beautiful and dynamic listening experience, rounded off by the perfect arrangement of the instruments.
“Don’t you think of me, when I close the door?”
Compared to the previous songs, the sound of “Sine Qua Non” is more thoughtful, showing a different side of Yearbooks. So the follow-up comes just right in time. The instrumental song called “Taking a Break From All Your Worries” is characterized by a catchy guitar riff, which is repeated, till the guitars distort, slowly sinking into chaos. Rising out of this chaos, “Six Degrees of Separation” paves the way for the grand finale.
The closing track on the LP is the absolutely phenomenal “Islanded in the Stream of Stars”. While the character of the intense sound is shaped by some sneaky changes in tempo, the vocals change from melancholic to angry, also containing a mighty chorus which gave me goose bumps.
With “Inside”, the band from Oakland, California, created an outstanding album full of catchy melodies and moving vocals, where every single second is fun listening to. I didn’t hear such a groovy sound since Comadre called it a day back in 2013.
For me, it’s definitely a strong contender for the best LPs, released this year.