The balance between frivolous and blue-collar value on Mythological Horses’ comical second full-length album, YYYMF, tallies trails to a leprechaun’s pot amid images of law bending, life on the fringe, skateboarding, and relationship mayhem. A collapse seems inevitable; yet listen after listen, Mythological Horses sound more dialed, despite the air of hoodwinking the neighborhood.
The most noticeable gene poking a sixth finger from the womb is lead singer and guitarist Shawn Holley’s expressive and pre-pubescent voice. Opening track, “Wax Lung” is like a rib eye to the face. His voice, squelchy and rough, is an alternative to alternative; punkish and unapologetic. Guitarist Kurt Bloch plays without any container as opening lines and timely solo, bend and zap like laser beams. “Turn Around” is a continuous hop and spell of pop and melodicism, while “Sick and Tired” follows with more grit and a harder flex. Bloch does well matching Holley’s vocal lap sprinting while submitting long, sinewy bleeps of enchantments. The propelled sound on “Hot Dog” is lit by drummer Jest Commons (Moldy Peaches live drummer) and bassist Kurt Danielson (TAD member) who’s interlocking tandem allows guitarist Bloch to soar and sound like the winner of every ax-man challenge this side of the Mississippi.
Recorded and produced by wizard Tad Doyle, YYYMF’s second half washes with a Dr. Bronner’s concentration of goofball fuzz and botanical zest. “Get Lost” kick drums into more ridiculously gorgeous pop sentiments. The chorus repeats too many times to count and the lyrical content barely moves; yet the surplus of shimmery chords and dual vocal add-ons and laughter from Jess Brierly and Ian Vanek equal a winner. The crash cymbal poignant “Puget Sound Lullaby” offers a meditative view, bowed in the direction of contemplating something grand, despite the smash and burn of bass and drums. The angsty high school slap on “I Don’t Want You Back” is quintessential fodder for Mythological Horses, but the final two tracks are the most provoking and warm. “The Line” whirls and chugs a sorrow expedited by Holley’s vocal shift and shine from acoustic guitar and swirl of keys. Album ender, the instrumental “Fuck Your Drone” closes YYYMF in a sophisticated eddy of building electronics, guitars, and drums.
Holley’s Mythological Horses strike the match most combustible when leaning pop forward with a wacky garage-rock equation on YYYMF. At times doused with gasoline, the flames and heat from this new line up has the intensity to singe the boring, pedestrian elements of independent rock, thus keeping this genre and all it’s styles combustible.