The first thought that comes to mind upon listening to Yoo Doo Right‘s second album A Murmur, Boundless to the East is: this sounds like everyone at once. There is no need to list any specific examples, as listeners that are into post-rock – or anything with long instrumental build ups and sparse vocals – will find their own connections.
While everyone will have their own viewpoint on the value of imitation and iteration, it’s my view that Yoo Doo Right’s sophomore LP is engaging in the way it reminds of albums heard before. That’s because the band have more up their sleeves than reminiscent riffs and arrangements; they draw the listener in and then shock with how far into chaos they can go and take us with them.
Opening track “Say Less, Do More” begins in a way typical of post-rock songs, but the presence of vocals keeps us guessing. The entirety of A Murmur, Boundless to the East subtly balances instrumentals that seem fit for vocals and those that do not. After hearing the voice come in on the first track, it leaves the audience constantly guessing where the singing might reappear; Yoo Doo Right’s arrangements are so chaotic that it does not seem that there are ‘obvious’ places for vocals to come in.
That is except for the last track, “Feet Together, Face Up, On the Front Lawn”, where the vocals turn the no-wave-inspired song into an energetic and danceable post-punk track with aggressive calls of “Tango!” However, just as we’re getting lost in the groove, Yoo Doo Right double down on distortion and cymbals and go into a droning, barely-changing melody (if it can be called that) which makes one want to drop on the floor lie there until the end of the track and with it the album. Yoo Doo Right channel all the best sensibilities of the genres that they encompass, while at the same time letting themselves go wild. This is reflected in the lyrics, which are very abstract and seem not to have an intention to evoke any specific feelings or imagery; they allow each individual to comprehend them in their own way.
Now, a fairly important question to raise is: what kind of development is to be expected from artists? If they at least begin by imitating their own favourite artists, is it reasonable to expect them to develop further into a more unique direction? Yoo Doo Right’s second album is already a step into a more unique direction as a follow-up to their debut Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose, presenting some interesting steps in the band’s career, landing somewhere on the border of imitation and originality; take it as you will.