Local record label FeelTrip moved the party from their South Side headquarters Saturday, taking over a packed Subterranean for a night of psychedelic pounding, spacy riffage and booty shaking. The stars of the evening were YAWN, both the label's most accomplished band and one of the most engaging and creative acts on the Chicago scene.
YAWN's seemingly natural ability to blend genres is uncanny; the result being less the consummation of different styles and more an entirely new sound born as a result of that sonic coitus. "Ganymede," off of last year's Happy Tears EP, was a surprising highlight in a set of mostly danceable grooves. Muffled guitar fluttered around an oozing caramel bass while the drums snapped and rolled in perpetual coolness. The fragility of "Ganymede's" melody was accented by YAWN's precision, making for a blissful three minutes registering somewhere between cannabis daydream and lover's embrace. Working in direct contrast was the bacchanalian electro-pop of "Yabis," a nervous and gloomy ride with just enough dazzle to make it a club gem. The set left the room of FeelTrip acolytes glistening with sweat and charged libidos, and left YAWN in the enviable position of having a batch of crowd-tested and approved songs to haul into the studio. When I wrote about this band just over a year ago, I remarked that they were "a group of really normal looking guys." Looks have proved, as usual, to be completely fucking deceiving. The band's show at Subterranean was further evidence that what we have in YAWN is a group of remarkable individuals whose chemistry is yielding some of Chicago's most mesmerizing, pleasurable and totally abnormal music.