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November 13, 2007


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You know, I feel almost embarrassed to admit that I've had this album for more than a decade and have never given it much time. And yet, unlike some cds I got as promotional copies, I have listened to it, and remember liking it, but... It keeps making cuts because I know--somehow, I just know--that I would like it, a lot. So now I need to actually give it time.

Also, I love US Maple, and they played two of my favorite shows I've ever seen.

Man, I spent so much time looking for a guitar record as good as Yank Crime in the 90s and right on into the '00s. It just isn't out there (though of course there are a ton of other great ones, US Maple, Thinking Fellers Union, some Polvo, etc etc). I also spent a lot of time trying to get people to listen to that album to very minimal results, though anyone who got it pretty much freaked out over it. If you haven't given it much time, Richard, I envy you, as at some point you are probably going to get floored like the rest of us. Reis is certainly a huge influence on my playing, but love Froberg's playing just as much, plus Rick's vocals are just fucking the best. A big influence on Reis's playing is Pen Rollings, late of Breadwinner and Honor Role and currently of Loincloth. All Richmond, Virginia bands worth checking out, though the Honor Role and Breadwinner stuff might be hard to find. Big precursors to Don Caballero and a lot of 90s mathy shit as well, for better and worse. I can't even say how many times I've listened to Yank Crime (and especially Luau). 800? More? Most listened to album in my life. Hot Snakes was a great return to the more concise side of the band, definitely of note. Enough rambling from me.

These are great posts. Thank you. You are teaching me things about the music that I didn't know, and now I'll listen for them.

I didn't get Drive Like Jehu at the time; I haven't heard Yank Crime since the year it came out. Now I must hear it again. I don't know why it didn't connect with me. I loved Trumans Water.

Anyone looking to get into Jehu for the first time might want to try their self-titled album first. It's just as good but is more accessible--i.e., the songs punch in and out much quicker; it's more immediate. Yank Crime sprawls. That's a good thing in my book, but it can be a barrier for others. At any rate, Richard, if you've already got Yank Crime in your possessiont then I can't imagine "Do You Compute" not immediately melting your face.

Davis, thanks for the heads up on some of those bands. I'd heard the name Breadwinner before but have never heard them. I loved the first Hot Snakes album but they were their own animal, to me. My very favorite things about Jehu are not present in Hot Snakes (not to deny HS their greatness).

Scraps... wow, bringing back the memories with Truman's Water. I'd forgotten about them. They were like Jehu on acid (and that's a good thing and a bad thing).

"Do You Compute"--check. I'll be sure to take note of it. Thanks!

Hot Snakes is definitely it's own animal, just similar to what the band was doing with songs like Bullet Train to Vegas and Atom Jack etc. Mostly it was a chance to get to enjoy two of my musical heroes again (I had just given up on Drive Like Jehu ever making a record again when Hot Snakes popped up, and man were they good live). None of the Hot Snakes stuff matches up to my favorite parts of Yank Crime either. I LOVE the sprawl and extended pummel, haven't found anything else to match it (Rodan/June of 44 at their best, but still not quite there). The first record is definitely a good starting point, not as distinctive but a little easier entry for sure. Way catchier and more diverse in it's own way. As far as more immediate, if anything I'd say that what Yank Crime does better than almost any album for me is keep that immediacy ratcheted up despite all of the shit they throw at you (riff after riff after riff, so many parts to those songs). Here Come The Rome Plows just fucking rules as an album opener (so does Caress of course). The vinyl for Yank Crime is really really great too, a 12" plus a 7" to accomodate the extra length. Sorry, just really can't say enough how great this is. If I am feeling especially gratuitous I will tell my story of seeing Drive Like Jehu live on the Yank Crime tour (I heard them, bought the record and saw them live all in a 3 day span). Honor Role and Breadwinner sound a little dated, but were way ahead of their time. Defintely good stuff to check out as far filling pieces of the sonic puzzle, so to speak.

"extended pummel" - possibly the most concise description of YC you'll ever see. Love it.

I never had the opportunity to see Jehu live (nor Hot Snakes, sadly). An old roommate of mine had a VHS tape FILLED with live performances, though, from their earliest days when Rick barely touched the guitar, to their final tour. It was mindblowing. I remember sitting on my couch, alone, watching them do "Do You Compute"--it was total bootleg quality: not very good sound, just some dude standing in the middle of the crowd holding his videocamera over his head. And by the time the song was done I literally stood up from my couch and started applauding, it was so phenomenal.

yeah, this really is just about as good as it gets. there are few music memories that stand out to me quite as strongly as the first time I heard the first notes of rome plows. It was like I had been looking for something, but couldn't define it, describe it, or find it, and then, this was it, finally.

over the years after that it just got better and better. I still think the end, or really entire second half, of super inison is the best piece of music made in the last 40 years. or at least the highlight of rock/punk/indie/whatever era. in that song they nailed everything indie rock is capable of (and unfortunately, everything Emo ever tried, but failed, to do). and DLJ just makes it perfect.

I also greatly enjoy drive like jehu, and Yank Crime is indeed excellent. However as tracks go Caress from the self titled album was my introduction to DLJ and just so happens to be my favorite by them. Its such an amazing intro to an album!

tangentially related to Drive Like Jehu's more prog tendencies:
King Crimson--Red
Voivod--Dimension Hatross, Nothingface, Killing Technology
Don Caballero--II, What Burns...
Of course also Sonic Youth's Sister and Daydream Nation...

I have an awesome Drive Like Jehu DVD (Al's Bar 1992). I really, really would like to get copies of those Drive Like Jehu shows Gitty has channel on YouTube such as Drive Like Jehu in Texas, etc. Anyone out there have copies??? If so, please e-mail me at trickledownblog@gmail.com

I meant, "of those Drive Like Jehu shows Gitty has on his channel on YouTube"!

Trickledown - check today's post for some more Jehu you might enjoy.

Great review! The first album I remember that used the octave as a guitar stylistic technique was the Adolescents' record. DLJ added to this method by not only moving the entire octave chord shape around, but also by using that shape for a distinct way of riffin'. As I try to learn their songs, it seems that a lot of the time, they hold down the high octave note but play a riff or melody on the the strings below that. In other words, the high octave note serves as a drone while the lower strings riff against it. I'll have to go home and listen, but I think you can really hear this technique on
"Future Home of Stucco Monstrosity" (or whatever the last song on the first album is).

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