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Lock Up Your Daughters: The Yelling is Coming to Town

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While standing underneath the glowing chandeliers of Crash Mansion, I felt all the hairs on the back of my neck stand up in unison. That voice. It was a voice that conjured up images of hard liquor, drag races, sex, bar fights, and young kids sneaking out at night. The voice of Nathaniel Cox makes you want to rip off your shirt and worship the Devil…in a good way. Cox, the lead singer of the Yelling, came alive as soon as his fingertips grasped the microphone. This well-mannered young man, whom I had met earlier nursing a Pabst Blue Ribbon, had transformed himself into a wiry rock god.

Backed up by the murderous guitars of Robert Davis, whose style was obviously heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. The crowd, which for the most part ignored this young band when they took the stage, had their hair blown back by heavy thudding blues with all the power and tenderness of a tidal wave. Like a raw nerve, Chris McKee provided the pulsing bass that provided a throbbing backbone to this wall of sound, the hair covering his face making him look darkly brooding, the way a bass player should. On the drums, stripped to the waist, a wild haired, South African Michael Hilewitz kept a beat that made itself felt in every fiber of your being. I stood there stunned. These young men had found that same gorgeous illicit raw feeling of rock n roll and created it in their own image. And by God what an image it was.

The Yelling was founded by Cox and Davis earlier this spring out of the wreckage of their previous band Revis. Revis, which was featured on the Daredevil soundtrack, was signed with Epic Records, but went to pieces before an album could even be released. Learning from their mistakes, Cox and Davis have created a band with a new sound that pays homage to the birth of classic rock, rather than the post-punk sound of Revis.

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The band is currently recording their first album in a tiny little studio in North Hollywood that also doubles as their apartment. I asked them whether such cramped quarters ever caused any awkwardness or irritation. But they just shrugged and smiled. "Not as awkward as that time we played Hog Fest," Davis smiled. When asked to elaborate, Davis told the tale of a fan at one of their shows that stripped down to his birthday suit and proceeded to make love to an orange warning fence in front of the stage. "He was just sticking his little dick through the holes. I may have missed a few notes watching him."

All silly dick stories aside, the Yelling have a fearless political sound. The chorus to Blood on the Steps accuses, "You've got blood on the steps of Saint Andrew/ You've got blood on the steps of St. Peter/You've got blood on my doorstep/Boy, you made a mess and made a bet with the wrong man." When catching up with the guys after a show they had this to say about their sound, "We don't take ourselves seriously, but this is a serious record. We're serious about our music," said Davis.

The Yelling's EP Release Party is tonight at Cinespace at 10. Go and have your world electrified.

Photo by Scott Soens