You can make whatever sound comparisons or analogies you want, to my ears, the debut from Yawning Sons is principally two things. First: mesmerizing. Second: warm. The band is end result of a fortunate ocean-crossing collaboration between Californian desert rock legend Gary Arce of Yawning Man and the UK?s Sons of Alpha Centauri. Presumably they went with Yawning Sons because ?Arce & Sons? sounded too much like they were electricians. In any case, their debut, Ceremony to the Sunset, released by Australia?s Lexicon Devil, is seven cuts of mostly instrumental experimental post-rock psychedelic hypnosis, with guest vocal spots from Fatso Jetson?s Mario Lalli, Wendy Rae Fowler (Mark Lanegan Band) and Scott Reeder spread throughout to act as trail markers.
The story goes that Arce and the four-piece Sons of Alpha Centauri had never met before he flew to the UK to produce a record for them, but when he arrived they jammed and over the course of a week, wrote and recorded Ceremony to the Sunset instead. Not to say the narrative lacks plausibility (Arce himself recounts it in the liner notes), but if that?s how it went down, the chemistry between Arce and Sons of Alpha Centauri members Nick Hannon (bass), Marlon King (guitar), Stevie B. (drums) and Blake (textures) must have been immediate. Otherwise the project would?ve fallen flat entirely — or, more likely, it wouldn?t have happened in the first place — and the intricate melodies that permeate ?Tomahawk Watercress? and closer ?Japanese Garden? would have nowhere near as much power as they do. Ceremony to the Sunset is a patient album, but it feels fast, spontaneous and exciting, striking a rare balance.