Rating:
8.0
Baroness - Yellow & Green
17 July 2012


Disc I
01. Yellow Theme
02. Take My Bones Away
03. March To The Sea
04. Little Things
05. Twinkler
06. Cocainium
07. Back Where I Belong
08. Sea Lungs
09. Eula

Disc II
01. Green Theme
02. Board Up The House
03. Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)
04. Foolsong
05. Collapse
06. Psalms Alive
07. Stretchmarker
08. The Line Between
09. If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry


Here's a band that has picked up a notable amount of steam over the past few years; Red Album was generally received warmly, building up perfectly to the staggering amounts of praise for Blue Record. The pressure is on. How do they live up to it? By throwing us a goddamn curve-ball, is what.

Of course you all like curve-balls. Well, not all of you will like this one. Yellow has a distinctly mainstream, radio rock appeal. It seems they figured their flavour of Savannah Sludge was being taken over by similar acts like Kylesa and Black Tusk, it was time to shake things up. This result of changing things up with their cleanest, catchiest, most melodic piece to date. Some of these tracks have such an arena-rock sort of feel to them, it becomes increasingly difficult to really call this a sludge band anymore.

The kicker? Despite having an obviously intentional high level of accessibility to it, Yellow is still thoughtfully built from the ground up. The guitar work is incredibly dynamic, even if it completely lacks many of the rougher edges you have come to expect from this band.

That's the Yellow side. Green side is a totally different story. No, it's not back to actual sludge, but even further away. It's a really mellow ("The Line Between" aside), bizarre form of old school prog going on. Not quite as memorable or notable as Yellow, Green is well worth the listen if for nothing else than witnessing the contrast this band is capable of pulling off.

In the end, Yellow & Green is a toss-up. People expecting to hear Baroness revisit Red Album are going to be sorely disappointed. However, open minds may be quite impressed by this bands calculated maturation into a band built on well-structured riffs, diversity, and accessibility.


Band profile: Baroness
Album: Yellow & Green


 



Written on 10.07.2012 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
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Marcel Hubregtse - 10.07.2012 at 09:59  
A six this is. Played extremely safe and totally oriented at radio airplay with too much Nickelback and post grunge in it. Still undeniably Baroness but an immensely watered down affair.
Doc Godin - 10.07.2012 at 10:14  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2012 at 09:59

A six this is. Played extremely safe and totally oriented at radio airplay with too much Nickelback and post grunge in it. Still undeniably Baroness but an immensely watered down affair.

Doesn't surprise me. Like I said, this is Baroness playing an extremely radio-friendly version of themselves. I find it well written in spite of that, though.

On the other hand, I really can't blame people for not liking this.
Cynic Metalhead - 10.07.2012 at 11:27  
"Take My Bones Away" is stand out song of this album. rest, they are just above average.

Overall? somehow I enjoyed it. Probably, a great release I would say.
afu - 10.07.2012 at 11:50  
I watched an interview with John and Pete. They said that the Blue Album seemed to be about as far as they can take that style and still have it be interesting for them as musicians. Baroness has always had a 70's vibe under all the sludge. While this is much more accessible to non-metal listeners, it's hardly commercial. I hear a lot of psyche and prog. I also hear lots of swirling chorus and phaser set to stun while they layer on harmonies and play the shit out of their guitars. I hear a lot of out of tune vocals, too. I'd file this under Progressive Stoner Rock.
Merchant of Doom - 10.07.2012 at 11:59  
And another one bites the dust...
Marcel Hubregtse - 10.07.2012 at 12:06  
Written by afu on 10.07.2012 at 11:50

I'd file this under Progressive Stoner Rock.


I don't hear any stoner ihere at all. yes, it's mellow, but not in a stoner sort of way.
Void Eater - 10.07.2012 at 12:17  
Written by afu on 10.07.2012 at 11:50

While this is much more accessible to non-metal listeners, it's hardly commercial.

Very true. This album is too... meandering I guess... to be commercial oriented-not too much focus on short songs with overblown catchy choruses, a lot of acoustic almost jam like stuff. Being a metal fan more than any other style of music, I can't say I enjoy this quite as much as Blue, but it's not really worse.

It feels so weird to be the one defending a band's change into non metal territory.

And also-




I don't hear the resembelence...
Lokaeda - 10.07.2012 at 12:35  
I don't mind bands evolving, but I just don't like it here. It's technically well-done, the musicians know their job, but I find it boring to death. One song (don't remember which one, it's around the middle-end of the Yellow part) even reminds me of Muse
Merchant of Doom - 10.07.2012 at 13:37  
I never particularly liked their previous stuff so, for me, this is an improvement... Having said that, Relapse are clearly trying to turn them in something with more commercial appeal and they went along with it. We can debate about bands going "commercial" for eons, but it won't change the fact that the music is pretty mediocre... being commercial or not.
Mr. Doctor - 10.07.2012 at 14:38  
Second staff review where I disagree enough to make me feel like I need to express myself with a review of my own
afu - 10.07.2012 at 15:11  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2012 at 12:06

Written by afu on 10.07.2012 at 11:50

I'd file this under Progressive Stoner Rock.


I don't hear any stoner ihere at all. yes, it's mellow, but not in a stoner sort of way.



I was thinking it fit somewhere in between Monster Magnet's Spine of God and QOTSA's Rated R with a liberal dose of prog. I'm ok with being thought wrong if I am way off base, but it makes sense to me.
afu - 10.07.2012 at 15:28  
Written by Void Eater on 10.07.2012 at 12:17

Written by afu on 10.07.2012 at 11:50

While this is much more accessible to non-metal listeners, it's hardly commercial.

Very true. This album is too... meandering I guess... to be commercial oriented-not too much focus on short songs with overblown catchy choruses, a lot of acoustic almost jam like stuff. Being a metal fan more than any other style of music, I can't say I enjoy this quite as much as Blue, but it's not really worse.

It feels so weird to be the one defending a band's change into non metal territory.


I like Blue better, too. Considering how these guys have been, I don't expect the next album to sound like this one. The EPs were really trippy and kind of heavy. Red and Blue were really heavy and trippy. This one lightens it up overall and relies on being trippy more than being heavy. The biggest change for me is the melodic vocals. Other than their inability to carry a tune in a bucket, it doesn't bother me.
Marcel Hubregtse - 10.07.2012 at 15:34  
Written by afu on 10.07.2012 at 15:11


I was thinking it fit somewhere in between Monster Magnet's Spine of God and QOTSA's Rated R with a liberal dose of prog. I'm ok with being thought wrong if I am way off base, but it makes sense to me.


I love both that MM album and that QOTSA one but I myself really can't fit this Baroness one in between there AT ALL. Like I said I totally do not hear and sotner in this baroness album. So your compariso doesn't make any sense to em at all. But it apparently does make sense to you somehow.
Risto - 10.07.2012 at 15:35  
Written by Void Eater on 10.07.2012 at 12:17

Written by afu on 10.07.2012 at 11:50

While this is much more accessible to non-metal listeners, it's hardly commercial.

Very true. This album is too... meandering I guess... to be commercial oriented-not too much focus on short songs with overblown catchy choruses, a lot of acoustic almost jam like stuff.

Which is why this album is also referred to as "indie" rather than commercial.
Lit. - 10.07.2012 at 15:48  
Next time, maybe they should stick with just one color.
Unhealer - 10.07.2012 at 16:05  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2012 at 09:59

Played extremely safe and totally oriented at radio airplay with too much Nickelback and post grunge in it.


I don't think that a band that leaves aside the sludge sound which they became known for in favor of a more accessible rock such as you describe is playing safe in any way. Playing safe would have been sticking with the same sound as the previous albums convincing conformist fans, this change was risky in a way.
My2Cents - 10.07.2012 at 16:26  
Marcel nailed it. This thing bores me to tears.
Troy Killjoy - 10.07.2012 at 16:30  
These guys should see if Lou Reed is still interested in collaborating with metal bands. Boring beyond belief.
afu - 10.07.2012 at 16:32  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2012 at 15:34

Written by afu on 10.07.2012 at 15:11


I was thinking it fit somewhere in between Monster Magnet's Spine of God and QOTSA's Rated R with a liberal dose of prog. I'm ok with being thought wrong if I am way off base, but it makes sense to me.


I love both that MM album and that QOTSA one but I myself really can't fit this Baroness one in between there AT ALL. Like I said I totally do not hear and sotner in this baroness album. So your compariso doesn't make any sense to em at all. But it apparently does make sense to you somehow.


Pill Shovel and Ozium From MM crossed with Auto Pilot and Better Living Through Chemistry by QOTSA as interpreted by the mutant clone of Steve Howe and Robin Trower. It's Progressive Stoner in that sense.
pisymbol - 10.07.2012 at 16:55  
Written by Unhealer on 10.07.2012 at 16:05

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2012 at 09:59

Played extremely safe and totally oriented at radio airplay with too much Nickelback and post grunge in it.


I don't think that a band that leaves aside the sludge sound which they became known for in favor of a more accessible rock such as you describe is playing safe in any way. Playing safe would have been sticking with the same sound as the previous albums convincing conformist fans, this change was risky in a way.



EXACTLY. Some reason finally seeping into the Metal Storm "this sucks because it has a somewhat mainstream appeal" mentality.

This IS an extremely risky album for them on several levels.

And after hearing the full stream on NPR, Doc really hit the nail on the head with this review. This is a very dynamic albeit rock oriented album.
dizzlemahnazgul - 10.07.2012 at 18:12  
An album three years in the making summed up by 303 words in 5 paragraphs. Now that's the kind of simple-minded audacity that keeps me coming back to Metal Storm.net!
Susan - 10.07.2012 at 18:22  
I love when bands challenge their limits and go in a different direction than the fans expected. Haven't listened to this one yet though. I pre-ordered it a while back and am waiting for my actual CD

But I have heard enough negative opinions so far to be a bit worried. Thanks, Doc, for spelling out exactly what's going on. Mostly I've just heard bitching and if your review is at all accurate then I can see why certain people would shy away from this... but I can also see why many people would love it anyway. It's still the same talented band it always was.

The only thing that made me really react negatively was your speculation that the "Savannah Sludge" scene was getting too crowded. Damn, I really hope that's not what Baroness thinks. One simply cannot get enough of that sound!!!
Alex Fenger - 10.07.2012 at 18:50  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 10.07.2012 at 16:30

These guys should see if Lou Reed is still interested in collaborating with metal bands. Boring beyond belief.

I wouldn't say beyond belief... but it is pretty boring. Perhaps what they need to spice up their discography is a Lulu of their own.
Unhealer - 10.07.2012 at 19:59  
Written by Susan on 10.07.2012 at 18:22

The only thing that made me really react negatively was your speculation that the "Savannah Sludge" scene was getting too crowded. Damn, I really hope that's not what Baroness thinks. One simply cannot get enough of that sound!!!


I've read a couple of interviews with Baizley and I think his words honestly reflect that they really needed to change their sound the way they did. I don't really see them changing their sound based on what other bands of the scene are doing or not
Susan - 10.07.2012 at 21:03  
Written by Unhealer on 10.07.2012 at 19:59

Written by Susan on 10.07.2012 at 18:22

The only thing that made me really react negatively was your speculation that the "Savannah Sludge" scene was getting too crowded. Damn, I really hope that's not what Baroness thinks. One simply cannot get enough of that sound!!!


I've read a couple of interviews with Baizley and I think his words honestly reflect that they really needed to change their sound the way they did. I don't really see them changing their sound based on what other bands of the scene are doing or not


That of course makes sense; I totally respect when bands need to change their sound and grow and explore music. You can't just keep releasing the same album over and over, even if only for your own sanity.

But I just hope no band changes a good thing simply because they feel pushed out by other successful bands. Fuck em and keep on
BitterCOld - 10.07.2012 at 21:17  
Haven't heard it yet (thought it was coming out today. silly me.)

a continued change in sound is no surprise to me, there were already concerned voices when Blue wasn't as "hard" as Red, and they never were particularly hard to begin with. In interviews after Blue, BB was already stating that the record they listened to the most during the recording of Blue was Queen's "Day At The Races."

i don't mind shifts so long as bands find a way to keep it interesting. and i don't limit my opinion of "interesting" to just metal.
BlueMobius - 11.07.2012 at 00:15  
Written by Doc Godin on 10.07.2012 at 10:14
this is Baroness playing an extremely radio-friendly version of themselves.


Yeah, not only did they move away from that Savannah sludge sound, they also moved away from Savannah itself.
Spirit Molecule - 12.07.2012 at 11:23  
Written by Susan on 10.07.2012 at 18:22

I love when bands challenge their limits and go in a different direction than the fans expected. Haven't listened to this one yet though. I pre-ordered it a while back and am waiting for my actual CD

But I have heard enough negative opinions so far to be a bit worried. Thanks, Doc, for spelling out exactly what's going on. Mostly I've just heard bitching and if your review is at all accurate then I can see why certain people would shy away from this... but I can also see why many people would love it anyway. It's still the same talented band it always was.

The only thing that made me really react negatively was your speculation that the "Savannah Sludge" scene was getting too crowded. Damn, I really hope that's not what Baroness thinks. One simply cannot get enough of that sound!!!


Well a lot of people got into Baroness coz of their signature sound. I agree with Craig here, Its cool they're experimenting with their sound, most bands do this and sometime it works and sometime it doesn't. I just didn't find it interesting. All I know is that its not really the Baroness I fell in love with. On the other hand, they will have a shit load of new fans on this one, just like Mastodon. I will give it a couple more listens though to see if it grows on me.

I really hope the change isn't coz the Savannah sludge scene is getting crowded, coz it isn't. I love that sound as well. I'm looking forward to the Kylesa album now.
BlueMobius - 13.07.2012 at 04:10  
Written by Spirit Molecule on 12.07.2012 at 11:23

I really hope the change isn't coz the Savannah sludge scene is getting crowded, coz it isn't. I love that sound as well. I'm looking forward to the Kylesa album now.


I'm not sure if the change is permanent or not. Some of the songs on the album are not new I don't think. From an in depth interview I read with John Baizley from Decibel magazine, he said that he had a bunch of poppy material that he described as creative demons he needed to exercise and get out of his system. I don't know if that means the next album will be a return to form or yet another change though.
afu - 14.07.2012 at 10:10  
After 6 or 7 spins, I can say I really like this, but some of the songs meander a bit. Those songs are kind of cinematic and would fit well as background music for a film, but as far as a listening experience, I think they lack a bit of spark. The songs that are good, are really good. I agree that an 8 is pretty close to the mark.
BitterCOld - 20.07.2012 at 05:53  
I like it. i wish there was a little more distortion going on... but i could clearly see where metal (only) fans would be immensely disappointed by this. not terribly surprising given the direction they headed from Red to Blue.
Boxcar Willy - 20.07.2012 at 06:11  
Written by BitterCOld on 20.07.2012 at 05:53

I like it. i wish there was a little more distortion going on... but i could clearly see where metal (only) fans would be immensely disappointed by this. not terribly surprising given the direction they headed from Red to Blue.

Agreed on all parts, Good album even if it is their worst. I'd give it a mid 7, but I need to listen to it a little more.
Velvet Thorns - 20.07.2012 at 16:17  
Incredible, i adore it !!!
being a fan ever since the Red i must say Y&G is getting better and stronger with each song and every time i listen to it and i'm totally addicted
every detail is perfect and as always everything about Baizley is so sexy, and so many love songs... he must be in love...
RAVASTATOR - 12.10.2012 at 04:20  
I feel as though the point at which this band started off may have deceived some people as to the true nature of the tunes... Personally the progression through Baroness' releases has sounded very organic and natural to me, like was mentioned before that they're maturing instead of kneejerking to people playing their sound or trying to throw a curveball for shenanigans, something like that. It seemed from the beginning that they were never just going to drop into a Red Fang/Black Tusk/Colorful Mouth-Bone band muck orgy, there were always the little lilting bits over the top, just behind. It just feels to me now that these elements have been brought to the fore, and the band seem like they have the confidence to work off of those instead of infiltrating them through thick riffage.

This is an amazing album to just drive/smoke/relax to, and i hold these guys in the same regard as ever. Does this mean im not allowed to listen to Brutal Death any more?
Kuroboshi - 02.12.2012 at 18:03  
"Green is well worth the listen if for nothing else than witnessing the contrast this band is capable of pulling off."

I would say this about both sides of the album. They are very able. It's just not interesting enough. "Cocainium" is quite nice though. Don't like the wailing voice the singer's got going.

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