When I interviewed Yawning Man guitarist/mastermind Gary Arce earlier this year, he told me that when he was first beginning to develop his tone it was the likes of Bauhaus and Lords of the New Church who were his principal points of inspiration. Listening to Yawning Man‘s latest studio effort, Nomadic Pursuits, it seems an unlikely source for such sonic sweetness, and let there be no question that Arce — one of the most central figures in the birth and growth of desert rock — has made the sound his own over the course of Yawning Man‘s decades together.
Nomadic Pursuits reunited Arce with bassist Mario Lalli (also of Fatso Jetson) and drummer Alfredo Hernandez (also formerly of Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age), and from front to back, it was one of the most complete and engaging atmospheres I heard all year. The album had texture for days. I remember taking it with me up to Vermont when I stayed there July into August, and it was like my fallback position. I must have listened to it every day at least once. “What’s for lunch?” Cheese and Yawning Man. Who could complain?
Of course, Arce is prolific as ever, and 2011 promises offerings from collaborative projects with Sons of Alpha Centauri (Yawning Sons) and Hotel Wrecking City Traders, plus there’s the new Big Scenic Nowhere project with Lalli and Fatso Jetson drummer Tony Tornay, and Arce is also rumored to have moved to Oregon and started working with new players there, so who the hell knows what’s coming next? Whatever it is, and whatever happens with Yawning Man from here on out, the appeal of Nomadic Pursuits is bound to last longer than just this one year.