Record of the Week: Yambag: Strength in Nightmares 7"

Yambag: Strength in Nightmares 7” (11pm Records) I can’t get over how scorching this new EP from Cleveland’s Yambag is. Somehow I missed their first 12”, Posthumous Pounce, but after I saw Yambag rip it up at Something to Talk About Fest in Philly this summer I had an inkling their new EP would be up my alley. It turns out that’s an understatement! Yambag’s combination of snotty vocals and ripping fast hardcore with tight, dynamic changes brings to mind one of my all-time favorite records, DRI’s Dealing With It. Like DRI (and unlike so many bands who have attempted to emulate them over the years), Yambag’s music is snotty punk rock at its core, but sometimes the intensity gets ratcheted up to the point where there’s nowhere to go but the blast beat, which serves here as the ultimate gestalt. While the playing is tight, the abrupt tempo changes create an unhinged sound, climaxing with the closing track, “Lowlife.” At over two minutes, it’s Strength in Nightmares’ longest track, jolting you from an intro where the guitarist tremolo picks a single string with an almost rockabilly flair to a series of dramatic punches into a blast that feels ripped straight from DRI’s playbook, into a catchy as fuck mid-paced part that begs you to mosh for the 9 seconds it lasts. The whole thing feels like wandering into a Slayer mosh pit with your eyes taped shut. This one is a certified ripper.

Leave a comment