Eternal Dream is the follow up release to Yowzah’s self-titled release, under their former name Toast. This time round, the band have found more cohesion and focus, with a sound that’s tougher to pin down.
Eternal Dream is a much more song oriented record that previous releases, and marks a trajectory into a new open direction for Yowzah. Whereas on the first release, Dillard hadn’t even earned his first stripe as a white belt vocalist, between releases, he took on the role of vocalist/guitarist for surf pop group The Lousy Annas, which he attributes to having strongly helped him improve as a vocalist. On Eternal Dream, the new vocal chops are clearly evident. Impressively, Dillard undertook single-handedly writing and recording all of the vocal parts on ED and one of the gems of this record is Dillard’s unique vocal arrangements.
Not to be outshone by their frontman, Yowzah operates as a fire cracking trio. There’s something in drummer Champy Gahagan’s placement of notes, patterns, train like groove and punk rock energy, combined with the compression on the drums and fundamental pitches to his classic cymbal sound that conjure up Dave Grohl on this record. However, there is still the 32nd note flurries sharp turning on a dime and well chosen displaced backbeats displaying solidly conceived and executed math rock drumming. Considering the record was cut with a 10” rack and 14” floor is surprising as the drums sound really fat and have more air, tone, dimension and character than on the first release.
Bassist Jordan Hinkle is the backbone of the trio, providing the foundation maintaining a consistent pulse and augmenting with some melodically contrapuntal colour and some tasty hook & theme variation. Together, Hinkle and Gahagan really do bring to mind classic 90’s rock bass & drum unions ala Pixies, Nirvana etc. sonically and conceptually and then ala math, resolve the bars unevenly.
‘As much beef as I may get from the mathrock community for saying it, I’ve never been into the excessive tapping, open tuning, and overall twinkly sounding math that the genre seems to be evolving into. I could go on a rant about it, but ehh to each is their own… That being said, with our new album I wanted to focus less on the “math” and more on the “rock” ‘ quips Dillard.
Eternal Dream achieves above said mission statement and then some. It’s a fantastically fun record, much like experiencing a Terry Gilliam film – quirky and a constant cascade of ideas full of colour.