January 18, 2010 | 12:05pm
Dry River Yacht Club The Ugliest Princess (self-released)
Dry River Yacht Club has made a name for themselves as a bold, unconventional band. Their instrumentation, which includes French horn, bassoon, and accordion would seem to make them an unlikely choice to play at places like the Yucca Tap Room, but their sound and following dictate otherwise.
They are, in fact, somewhat chameleon-like. They walk the line between old-fashioned and modern. Their acoustic sound is sharpened and accentuated with unmistakable vocals, a distinguishing feature for them. Garnet's round, clear vibrato is intriguing and gives the music depth and rich, dark overtones.
The overall product is both sweet and eerie. Sounding almost vaudevillian at times, DRYC has a dark and fantastical quality. Their lyrics are often mysterious and leave you wondering just how literally they should be taken. One song is titled C14n14, which is an isotope pair used in the absolute dating technique. If you're not trying to figure that one out, then they're discussing the best way to season human meat in Novella De Cannibal, or you're trying to translate the words of the deep, sexy Frenchman in Circus Song, or understand phrases like, "I found your crucifix in the sink / I guess you're always cleaning it. It always seems as though the verses are either laden with symbolism or just plain unreal.
If you're a DRYC fan, and you've seen them live before, then this album is exactly what you'd expect it to be. The songs are familiar, and all the elements that make up this band are there. If you're not familiar, you're probably in for a surprise, but I'd recommend taking that trip. While you may not know where you went or how you got there, chances are you'll come out the other end.
Note: I am a guest contributor to "You Asked For It" while music editor Martin Cizmar is out of the country.
If you're a musician from the Phoenix area and would like to submit a CD for review, please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85032