It’s always a great feeling to discover a band. You hit play on a new album and instantly feel like you’re connected. You think “This is a band I can grow with. I can’t wait to check out what came before and what will be coming in the future.” I felt that way about the Chicago three-piece Yeesh. Their new album Saw You Up There dropped on August 16th, and I was surprised I hadn’t come across them before. Of course, after a little online digging I found out that the band had essentially broken up back in 2017 and this new album is their swan song.
Kind of depressing, but if a band wants to leave parting words for their fans and the world at large, Saw You Up There are some pretty good ones.
Punk, post-punk, hardcore, whatever genre button you want to use is fine, but for me “Inherit The Earth” is pure Midwest disillusioned post-punk. Much like Motor City’s Protomartyr, Yeesh have a foundation in punk rock, but there’s more going on here. Feedback, tribal drums, and angst-ridden vocals, Alex Doyle, Greg Obis, and Peter Reale lay waste with smiles on their faces. “The Crossing” is 100 mph music. A mix of hardcore’s bpm with the hookiness of Fugazi at their most fun. “The Crossing” is an immense track. “Collective Sin” sounds like the best of 80s-era SST Records. Old Mudhoney and Sonic Youth come to mind. The bass plays an integral part in Yeesh’ sound. The rhythm section lays the groundwork so the guitar can come in more like stabs of sound than a melody maker. “Had In Mind” sounds like early Pavement before early Seattle vibes take over in the chorus.
“Escape Plan” is jagged post-punk stabs of chords and blistering drums while “Soft Let” brings things down to introspective bark. “Victory Lap” is the last thing we hear on the record, and in turn the last we ever hear from Yeesh. It’s a fitting goodbye as they give in to the catchy melodies and almost pop sensibilities these three Chicagoans let out every once in a while.
The great thing about music is that we’ll never hear it all. We’re discovering new bands and albums our whole lives if we keep our minds and ears open. There’s no expiration date for discovery. Some 55-year old teacher somewhere is discovering Minor Threat for the first time, where some 14-year old art student is getting her mind blown hearing Led Zeppelin’s “Ten Year’s Gone” right now. Yeesh may be gone, but we’ve got Saw You Up There to contend with as long as we need.
7.8 out of 10