Paul Christensen. Matt Cronk. David Yow. The former two names you have not heard before. The latter name you probably have. The latter name is a legend, in fact. The former two, not so much.
David Yow was a member of two legendary bands - Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard. Both great bands of the early nineties who, while not insanely popular outside people in the know, were thrust into the spotlight for the briefest of moments as a result of the Lizard's split single with a little group called Nirvana.
The former gentlemen founded their band in 2000, and released their first album in 2003 entitled Baby Kisses, a fairly solid debut enhanced by the fact that they were a mere two piece that sounded like a full line-up.
In 2006, David Yow joined the existing Qui as a full-time vocalist and helped flesh out a band deserving of recognition, because let's face it, unless you're a ghastly-pallored incestuous pair of exes, your two-piece doesn't stand a chance in hell. But to even mention most other bands of similar roster number as Qui is to do them a disservice, except perhaps Big Business who have been given the golden opportunity to perform as both themselves and as full-fledged members of The Melvins for a couple of years now. Qui were just fine on their own, but the addition of Yow has brought some much needed attention to the band and the music included on Love's Miracle is warranted of any attention that's given.
Yow's vocals have changed over the course of time - the whine and yowl delivery (which doesn't exactly sound complimentary but there really is no other way to describe it) is still ever present but there's more control in his tone that just wasn't as evident earlier in his career. Check out "A# 1" or "Today, Gestation" if you don't believe me.
That said, "Gash" and "Belt" are prime examples of the classic Yow sound that fueled the legend lo these many years, with the latter demonstrating the classic Yow lyrics that could just as well be a continuation of the Lizard's "Mouthbreather":
"You bitch mama boys, track pants, dance class, badass tats - keep your eyes to the floor"
Ah, David it's good to have you back.
I did not intend this review to be all about David Yow, as I fear most reviews will focus on, and for that I apologize. Paul Christensen and Matt Cronk are just as worthy of mention, providing solid musicianship throughout, never sounding more just plain cool than on "Freeze," arguably the album's best track which brings to mind the best of Beefheart and The Minutemen in a glorious clusterfuck of sound.
The Beefheart is again present in the band's cover of Zappa's "Willie the Pimp," one of two covers on the album the other being a surprising (both in inclusion and execution) version of Pink Floyd's "Echoes." While abridged to six-and-a-half minutes from the original twenty-three, it's yet another reminder that Qui is a band that refuses to be pigeonholed and in today's sorry state of music affairs, the element of surprise in a rare commodity.