Stylistic Diversity Abounds in Yin Waster's EP

A Joyous Romp for Akron, Ohio

Review by Nick Manduley

October 6, 2020

Chicago psychedelic-folk duo Yin Waster independently released their latest EP A Joyous Romp For Akron, Ohio on March 27th. The up-and-coming band, comprised of singer-songwriter Griffin Mang and drummer Gabe Huff, named the four-song EP for the city of Akron after stopping there while on tour with the midwest emo trio Hospital Bracelet in late 2019. The band felt a “huge dose of love and genuine appreciation” when their audience demanded not one, but two encores that night, according to their bandcamp page.

The EP kicks off with “Black Coffee,” an introspective track where the duo’s folk influence shines brightly. Mang’s prowess as a multi-instrumentalist quickly becomes apparent as tight basslines and sultry guitar strumming fill out the track. “Black Coffee” is followed by the eight-minute double track “Before the Morning / in Fredericksburg,” which shows a great deal of stylistic diversity. Huff’s upbeat drumming gives way to Mang’s soft-spoken vocals, ambient guitar licks, and swelling synthesizers in a cyclical fashion; the transition into the harmonious and psychedelic refrain of “in Fredericksburg” offers a satisfying end to this journey of a track.

The release moves forward with “The Day Aspen, Colorado Burned to the Ground,” a track that is almost completely instrumental, save for a brief verse about midway through the song. The track starts with a catchy guitar lick that builds into a jazzy solo section before reaching the aforementioned verse; Mang paints a rather apocalyptic portrait of the Colorado city’s demise with his lyrics before the track bursts into a fuzzy, distorted guitar riff, ending the tune with a thematically appropriate bang.

A Joyous Romp draws to a close with the song “Takoma Park,” which the band has released a music video for on their YouTube channel. The track starts with the fluttering and fizzling of radio static before the duo jumps into the first verse. “Takoma Park” features a wonderful shuffled drum beat that acts as the beating heart of the tune, as Mang carries the track forward with his gentle vocals and guitar strumming.

Clocking in at just under twenty minutes, A Joyous Romp For Akron, Ohio serves as a snapshot of not just a time and place, but also a wonderful memory and the emotions surrounding it. The EP can be found on all major streaming services.

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