20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews YACHT’s See Mystery Lights by JohnCassillo
July 27, 2009, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Free 4 All, Releases of the Week | Tags: , , , ,
YACHT's See Mystery Lights starts well enough, then falls short.

YACHT's See Mystery Lights starts well enough, then falls short.

PREVIEW: Download YACHT’s “Psychic City (VooDoo City)” MP3

Bands sometimes need to take a stab at different genres in order to succeed from a fan base standpoint. In YACHT‘s case, it seems overwhelmingly obvious that the influence there is Sonic Youth‘s noise/art punk. Relying heavily on as good an imitation of SY’s Kim Gordon as you can get, YACHT finds its niche amongst the art rock fans of the world, presenting grunge-infused pop that if I didn’t know any better, I’d say was Disc 2 of the Daydream Nation deluxe edition.

As an overall effort, See Mystery Lights has a lot of great points. Many electronic records gain popularity on one hit song and nine misses. Luckily for YACHT, that’s not the case here. Not only are most of the tracks highly listenable, but they are memorable as well. Many have pointed straight to the album’s initial release, “Psychic City (VooDoo City)” as the standout, yet I wouldn’t even put the catchy track in my top three. It’s a positive statement on the part of the record, to say the least. If you’re really looking for the best this effort has to offer, might I recommend the funky, noisy “Summer Song,” or the T-Pain-inspired “I’m in Love with a Ripper”.

On the other hand, though, See Mystery Lights also comes with some moments I could do without: throwaways. If you don’t have enough quality material to put out a full album, then by all means, don’t. Either wait, or release an EP. YACHT decide to just trudge ahead, and the results are a bad taste in my mouth by album’s end.

Two of the last three tracks are miserable listening experiences I wouldn’t prescribe to anyone. “We Have All We’ve Ever Wanted” is the Skeletal Lamping B-side we never needed to hear, while “Psychic City (Version)” is a contender for the worst demo ever played for the public. I hate to be harsh, but the truth hurts.

It drives me nuts that an album that started with so much promise and intrigue, ended with such disaster. With the first seven tracks falling somewhere between average and great, how do you let tracks eight and ten be so subpar? End with a flourish. Make people want to hear your record again. YACHT, unfortunately, fails in this regard, and turns a solid effort into somewhat of a letdown. Listeners don’t like to be disappointed.

— John Cassillo, Reviews Editor


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[…] RS also reports that Sonic Youth has had to postpone its performance at the Austin City Limits festival after an injury to guitarist Lee Ranaldo. The alt-rock legends had to move several dates back to January 2010 after Ranaldo fractured his wrist while playing tennis. The band released its 16th studio album, The Eternal, in June. [Previous 20 Watts Coverage: 20 Watts Review's YACHT's See Mystery Lights] […]

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