• Theirs is an expansive vision of rock’n’roll, one that cherrypicks from various folk traditions: punk, rockabilly, blues, whatever they might have on hand or find in the trash.

    — Pitchfork
  • Think MC5 with better vocals. Think of most bands and add better lyrics, ferocious howls and chants, and yes, Whitmanesque, barbaric yawps sounding from the stage…pure rock and roll, the way the White Stripes were.

    — St Louis Magazine
  • The Yawpers are a joyride in a stolen car, a thrilling taste of liberty in an otherwise humdrum suburban existence.

    — Surviving the Golden Age
  • The Yawpers highlight all that is good with the rowdy bar band vibe as they pull off a Steve Earle fronts Old 97s sound with a blue collar work ethic of Uncle Tupelo.

    — The Fire Note
  • Their sound is all its own, a volatile stew of punk, country, Americana, old timey and bluegrass music, and good ol’ rock and roll.

    — Glide Magazine
  • This is rock and roll, the right way – the way we first experienced it as kids – songs about women, life, aggravation – at a breakneck pace and full-on throttle.

    — PopDose
  • Populist lyrical themes of golden era folk-Americana are contrasted beautifully against the majestic rhythms of heavy metal and punk. 

    — No Depression
  • A road trip across a psychedelic wasteland, though they skew a little more Hunter S. Thompson than Jim Morrison.

    — The AV Club
  • They take stylings of Americana Blues and hammer it in the face with some punk aggression, creating a blend that is packed full of energy, swagger, and addictive charisma.

    — Bloody-Disgusting.com
  • Taking ‘three chords and the truth’ to the Max, the Yawpers integrate the street Punk menace of the Ramones and MC5 with the sharp lyrics of someone like Jonboy Langford or even (early) Elvis Costello.

    — Rocking Magpie
  • The Yawpers are a three-piece rock and roll band from Denver, Colorado. The classic kind that people always say are dying off but are inevitably incorrect. There will always be people interested in unfettered aggression sublimated into the instrumental sludge of southern rock. 

    — Nerdist
  • They take stylings of Americana Blues and hammer it in the face with some punk aggression, creating a blend that is packed full of energy, swagger, and addictive charisma.

    — Bloody Disgusting
  • The Yawpers come out of some beer-drenched hole in Denver, full of fuzzy slide guitar with one ear towards 1970s rock and roll and another towards 1960s Delta blues.

    — Consequence of Sound
  • The guitar work is expansive and diverse blending rock/blues riffs, country twang with punkitude. The bottom end is speaker rattilin’, pound the steering wheel,  and hit the gas good.

    — Common Folk Music
  • The slide guitar is enough to slay you, and the screeching vocals could make your life flash before your eyes… This is a band that makes it look effortless… and meanwhile, the audience is getting messed up. The Yawpers are American heroes.

    — iheartlocalmusic
  • The Yawpers have created a sound that is equal parts frenetic, earnest, and menacing, all while bringing together disparate pieces of the American musical lexicon.

    — Hodi's Half Note
  • The Yawpers sing the body electric. Within them runs the same blood as The Black Keys, Nashville Pussy, and The Reverend Horton Heat. Their greasy rock 'n' roll is laced with alt-country grit, and it's not a bit tamed.

    — Charleston City Paper
  • Like an Oreo milkshake with Kahlua but instead of Kahlua it's Jack Daniels and instead of milk it's Jack Daniels. Basically you're eating Oreos and drinking Jack Daniels. You're shit faced and you're loving it.

    — SYFFAL
Hometown: 
Denver, CO

The Yawpers craft tunes that are engrossed in creative context. Some might recall edges of the mid-1900s Delta blues, but only if those lived-in riffs were played by the MC5, broadcast through booming stadium speakers and drenched with pounds of fuzzy distortion and full-throttled punk rock energy. They conduct parallel frequencies with the ferocious and raw proletarian roots of Uncle Tupelo, the burning-hot thrashings and cavernous sonic space of Hot Snakes, and mix in derisive scrutiny that brings to mind Ween or the Minutemen (and might we add that Cook is the spitting image of D. Boon).
 

The Yawpers are the sheep in wolf’s clothing.

Through their first three albums, the group divined a signature style—what Pitchfork described as “an expansive vision of rock ‘n’ roll, one that cherrypicks from various folk traditions: punk, rockabilly, blues, whatever they might have on hand or find in the trash.” The sound is a front-heavy, groovy, fire & brimstone punk-blues overlying a dynamic and metaphysical roots rock. On their fourth album Human Question, the Denver trio zooms out to a more vast and accessible stylistic and spiritual universe. The 38-minute thrill ride generates growth and cathartic self-reflection for audience and performer alike. If there was justice in this world, the Yawpers would be the savior that rock-n-roll didn’t know it was waiting for.

Following their critically acclaimed and meticulously plotted concept album Boy in a Well (set in World War I France, concerning a mother who abandoned her unwanted newborn), the Yawpers created Human Question with a contrasting immediacy. The album was written, rehearsed, and recorded over a two-month period with Reliable Recordings’ Alex Hall (Cactus Blossoms, JD McPherson) at Chicago’s renowned Electrical Audio. The band tracked live in one room, feeding off the collective energy and adding few overdubs. Through the new approach, ten songs connect with an organically linked attitude and style.

On Human Question, lead singer and guitarist Nate Cook writes his way out of trauma, rather than wallowing in it, as was his self-destructive formula in the past. “I wanted to take a crack at using these songs as therapy, really,” Cook said. “I think I’ve always been inclined to write more towards the dregs of my psyche, and explore my depressions and trauma, rather than describe a way out.” The self-reflection engages the band’s trademark dangerous, emotionally fraught choogle, and the listener is constantly kept on edge, not knowing when to brace for a bombastic impact or lean back and enjoy the ride.

The band skillfully balances that Jekyll and Hyde formula. In “Child of Mercy” guitarist Jesse Parmet revs the engines with a disintegrating blues guitar framework, backed by a breakneck beat by new drummer Alex Koshak. Eventually, the tune whips into a cyclone of distortion and Cook’s sustained falsetto, as he howls, “Won’t you please wake me up when the night is over.” For such a raw and kinetic sound, the Yawpers are never stuck in one gear for long. They deftly navigate shifting dynamics and moods, and if you squint your ears, the Sun Studios’ Million Dollar Quartet, transmogrifies into the ghosts of Gun Club, Jon Spencer, and Bo Diddley.

“Dancing on my Knees” is the direction that Dan Auerbach could’ve taken Black Keys: raw yet poppy, outsider while mainstream, danceable while thought-provoking (lyrics include “It wasn’t what I asked for / But it’s exactly what I need / You’ve said there’s growth in agony / And we finally agree”). There are moments of blunt Stooges raw power (“Earn Your Heaven”), shaker rhythms behind ‘70s psychedelic rock (“Human Question”), and the  salacious boogie of Zeppelin (“Forgiveness Through Pain”). Through it all, Human Question is impossible to confuse with anything else—it’s distinctly the Yawpers.

“Man As Ghost”, “Can’t Wait,” and “Where the Winters End” reveal a softer and contemplative side, blending touches of modern Americana and folk music. In these moments of sonic respite, Cook and company display their range through acoustic guitar strums, relaxed and aired-out tempos, and big yet dialed-in vocal runs. But, no song exhibits the band’s extended capabilities like “Carry Me,” a Gospel-soul burner that builds from hushed to impassioned, with the lead singer begging for salvation in full open-throated fervor by song’s end.

Human Question isn’t meant for the meek or casual listener. It will make you dance, mosh, sing along, and dig deep into your soul. Some people lament that rock-n-roll is dead. They just haven’t heard the Yawpers yet.

The band has previously released three full length-albums, their Bloodshot debut American Man and the 2012 self-released album Capon Crusade), a self-released EP (Savage Blue), and a bootleg covers record (Good Songs/Shitty Versions). The band's music has been praised by publications like PitchforkRolling Stone, The New York Times, The AV Club, Consequence of Sound, Nerdist, and American Songwriter, and has taken the stage with Lucero, Tommy Stinson's Bash & Pop, DeVotchka, Supersuckers, The Blasters, and more. In 2015, they were the house band at TEDx Kansas City and soundtracked an episode of Bill Weir's The Wonder List on CNN — the episode was about the Colorado River. Their music has also been heard on TV shows such as Showtime's Ray Donovan and Syfy's Happy.

The Yawpers formed in 2011 when Parmet and Cook played together at the only speakeasy in Boulder, CO. In August 2018, the band announced that Alex Koshak would be stepping in on drums as they headed into the studio to record their next album. The band’s name is a nod to Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”: “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” 

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
The Who
The Cramps
Dead Kennedys
Two Gallants
The Gun Club
Ween
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

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