Think of “Steel That Sleeps The Eye” off of 2009’s Blue Record as the foundation for Yellow & Green and you’ll be just fine. Come to this double-LP party expecting anything else and you might find yourself in trouble. Is Yellow better than Green? Or are they equal parts awesome? Or awful? Did it need to be be a double album? All these questions and more will be answered as you read on!
When it comes down to it, Baroness did what Mastodon were afraid to do on last year’s The Hunter. Especially the latter half of that record, Mastodon sound like the band Baroness have embraced. The raucous riff driven dirge fests have been cleaned up into these exquisite sonic packages that are miles beyond what Baroness have accomplished thus far.
Sure, songs like first single “Take My Bones Away” are pure heavy Baroness but on Yellow & Green, those moments are few and far between and that’s okay because what’s left is just as incredible as when Baroness let loose. Speaking of letting loose, no one song does that more than the penultimate chapter of Green, “The Line Between”, which starts like some of the heaviest stuff from Red or Blue then slips listeners a mickey and lets them awaken to singer/guitarist John Baizley treading .38 Special territory with his croon during the verses. Other highlights on the heavy side of the album (The hard stuff is mixed throughout both albums) are the psychedelic swamp boogie of “Little Things” and “Board Up The House” which takes the classic Baroness sound to new levels of profoundness putting them on par with a band like Clutch who do what they want and do it really, really well.
The quieter moments on Yellow & Green are just as great. From the Moody Blues dreaminess of “Twinkler” on Yellow through to the tender pluckings of “Stretchmarker” on Green, there isn’t a moment wasted, a moment used as filler anywhere on the double album. For the ambition alone, Yellow & Green deserves an “A”. Luckily, the content matches the intent and ambition.
Yellow & Green is available on July 17th through Relapse. Pre-orders featuring some Yellow & Green vinyl options are available here.