Reviews

Bill Ryder-Jones
Yawn

(Domino)

7/10

For the onetime Coral guitarist, 2015’s ‘West Kirby County Primary’ was something of a watershed record – finding a new audience by embracing a unique take on slacker rock, dealing in Pavement-esque dynamic contrast and lyrically unpacking the mental health conditions that have been a consistent feature of his life. “There’s a fortune to be had,” he reflects on opening track ‘There’s Something On Your Mind’, “in telling people that you’re sad.”

‘Yawn’ is a much gentler record than its predecessor; one that’s much more ornate with moments of quite straightforward prettiness, and to Jones’ credit there’s no attempt to turn the last record’s success into a formula. The instrumentation is broader too – note the sparse but haunting strings on the delicate ‘Recover’ and the glistening feedback that seeps through ‘No One’s Trying to Kill You’.

The first of his albums to be recorded at his newly built studios in Merseyside, Jones’ focus has shifted to the local and the familial. ‘Mither’ (that’s North West slang for bother) observes his relationship with his mother, and to emphasise the locality includes lyrical contributions from Jones’ Liverpool songwriting hero Mick Head.

To be sure, ‘Yawn’ offers few surprises, but near the close of the record tracks like ‘Don’t Be Scared, I Love You’ land harder through the accumulated weight of the album behind it, locking you into its woozy, late night motorway melancholia.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.