For those that know the name Josh Scogin you know that his name is synonymous with the ability to create beauty from the chaos. Just a short trip through his career you will come across the inception of Norma Jean and the full tenure of The Chariot with the latter being an unapologetically unhinged example of avant garde musicianship. Shortly after the end of The Chariot Scogin introduced the world to the two piece outfit known as ’68 that consists of himself and Nikko Yamada.
The unbridled yet controlled chaos that is unleashed by ’68 is a palpable musical conversation between the artist and their audience. At the very core it is a wild ride for everyone on both sides of the speakers as the tornadic soundscapes swirl about the frenzied duo. An amalgamation of sorts the band encapsulates an inventive, disruptive, frantic, and oft quietness that formulates a solid sense of urgency.
With Distance Between The Captains Sat Removed Their Hooks Removed Their Hats “Let’s Be Friends” “End This War” They All Agreed Then Got Bored Within The Hour, They Were No More. If you read the song titles in order for Yes, And… that is what you will see. The song titling has become almost an entity all its own when it come to an album by ’68. While the track title may not fully correlate to the song content it still manages to add a nice flair to the overall packaging to the album. As usual ’68 throws everything in to the mix and manage to fully embrace the ability to do more with less as they are a two piece outfit. The opening set of tracks, “With Distance Between,” “The Captains Sat” and “Removed Their Hooks” run the gamut of chaos and blues with howling exposition and unbridled honesty.
“Removed Their Hats,” “Let’s Be Friends” and “End This War” continue to keeps things unexpected yet fully tangible with astute lyricism like “I do want to die, just not today.” This singular line gives remarkable insight in to Scogin’s ability to craft profound moments and weave them in to the raw energy of the musical composition. For Yes, And… Scogin challenged himself to finish the lyrics in a matter of days, and that energy crackles throughout the recording. “Lyrics are vastly important to me. Every word had to land. There’s no filler. It was important to figure out how to say the most with the fewest number of words.”
“They All Agreed,” “Then Got Bored” and “Within The Hour, They Were No More” expand things beyond chaos an kinetic energy as “They All Agreed” is more of a tangential dirge of sorts that shines as a highlight on the album. Ultimately, this sets the stage for the final tracks on the album that bring more of the expected rowdiness that closes out the album with an almost twist as it fades out right before a last second visceral audible onslaught.
Ultimately, Yes, And… is a diverse and densely packaged indie rock romp that embodies the improvisational ideology that has become synonymous with ’68. It is equal parts fluid and chaotic building upon the “blank slate” approach that has become commonplace for the band.
’68 will be joining Thrice as support on the second leg of the The Artist In The Ambulance 20th Anniversary Tour in October and then an Australian run with The Bronx in late November. For more info on dates and ticket info click here.