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Yoke Shire (USA) - 2004 - "Solar Solstice"
TRACK LIST: 1. My Heart's an Island 4:20 2. Better High Than Shy 3:11 3. Solar Solstice 3:49 All tracks: by Yoke Shire. Produced & engineered by C Herlihy. LINE-UP: Craig Herlihy - lead & backing vocals; keyboards; - acoustic, electric & lap steel guitars, bass; - drums, percussion, dulcimer & marimba Brian Herlihy - acoustic & electric guitars; - percussion; backing vocals
Prolusion. YOKE SHIRE is a well-known American outfit with two full-length CDs to their credit, one of which, "A Seer in the Midst", is a compilation of unreleased tracks, though. Thus, "Solar Solstice" presents the first new material by the band since their official debut, the five-year standing "Masque of Shadows". The mini-CD is available for $7 within the USA and for $9 outside, with shipping included.
Analysis. Ouch! The three rather short songs, presented here, have nothing to do with progressive music. They hardly concern Rock music, too, and can be called so only at a stretch. This is Southern Boogie in its lightest pop-oriented format. Even ZZ Top would've never gone this way. Much resembling each other, the songs are made up of monotonous couplets and refrains, just alternating each other. The rather boring choir singing, straightforward chords of acoustic guitar, rhythms of marimba or congas with no tempo changes, a couple of very brief instrumental interludes with simple solos of organ or guitar, and that's all. One may think that all this marks the band's tendency towards a more commercial sound. However, these songs sound so very primitive, that's the limit! I fear it's just about a complete stagnation, if not a decadency. In any case, the band, which has been around nearly ten years, still has so little to offer to the progressive listener. Pity: their only full-fledged album "Masque of Shadows" was very promising, at least for starters. Now however, I doubt that Yoke Shire will go down in history even as the so-called one-shot outfit.
Conclusion. There is nothing to add actually. "Solar Solstice" is a very strange music product, and I am quite certain that even the most faithful fans of the band are disappointed with this EP.
VM: November 13, 2004
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