Tuesday 23 March 2021

Yawning Sons - Sky Island (Album Review)

Release date: March 26th 2021. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Sky Island – Tracklisting

1.Adrenaline Rush
2.Low in the Valley
3.Cigarette Footsteps
4.Passport Beyond the Tides
5.Shadows and Echoes
6.Digital Spirit
7.Gravity Underwater
8.Limitless Artifact


Gary Arce — guitars
Marlon King — guitars/vocals
Nick Hannon — bass
Stevie B — drums
Kyle Hanson — drums
Blake — effects

'Sky Island' vocalists:

Marlon King on "Adrenaline Rush"
Dandy Brown on "Low in the Valley", "Gravity Underwater"
Mario Lalli on "Cigarette Footsteps"
Wendy Rae Fowler on "Shadows and Echoes"
Scott Reeder on "Digital Spirit"


Yawning Sons is the collaborative project between Desert Rock Legends Yawning Man and UK Cinematic Prog Rockers – Sons Of Alpha Centauri. The band last released a full length album back in 2009 with Ceremony To The Sunset. Which remains a personal favourite album of mine to this very day.

The band return with their new album Sky Island and it’s an even better follow up with Yawning Sons releasing a more mature and focused offering. Yawning Sons have a range of fantastic guest vocalists on this album and it’s a who’s who of Desert and Stoner Rock with appearances by Dandy Brown, Scott Reeder, Wendy Rae Fowler and Scott Reeder.

Sky Island is a pleasing audio experience that embraces a darker style of Desert Rock that you would expect. The album has it’s fair share of upbeat progressive Desert/Stoner Rock grooves though the album impresses the most when Yawning Sons play a more daring style of music which they show in the excellent two opening songs – Adrenaline Rush and Low In The Valley.

Adrenaline Rush has a classic “Yawning Man” melodic guitars leading the charge with the almost “true-to-life” cinematic and post-rock backdrop allowing the band to focus as one complete unit. The lyrics are quite outlandish in places but you can’t stop help singing along to them. The progressive Desert Rock grooves are simply hypnotic.

Second song – Low In The Valley – sees Dandy Brown join the party and offer his own take on all things Desert/Stoner Rock. The vocals are quite earnest in places with the lyrics are almost too real but there’s a hidden beauty to it all especially when the Psychedelic moments appear. This builds up for one of the standout songs on the album.

Third song – Cigarette Footsteps – sees Mario Lalli join his fellow “Yawning Man” partner Gary Acre on this song and you know what to expect when Mario appears. A slightly laid-back performance that becomes ever more commanding as the 8 minute run time passes by. The music ventures between Psych Rock, Desert Rock and Post-Rock based vibes. Yawning Sons are fully in their creative stride with this song and the second half offers pure Desert Rock bliss.

Fourth song – Passport Beyond The Tides – is an instrumental song that sees Yawning Sons in more reflective mood but still manage to find the time to play some heavier music on the second half of the song.

The second half of the album continues with the Psychedelic blend of Cinematic Post Rock and Desert Rock with “Shadows And Echoes” and Digital Spirit being the main highlights. The vocals on both of these tracks are superb with Wendy Rae Fowler impressing the most on Shadows And Echoes.

Scott Reeder also excels on Digital Spirit that is perhaps the most far-out song on the album with it’s mixture of 60s Psych Rock and swirling Desert Rock trippy moments that will leave you in such a happy mood.

Sky Island is a wonderful album that offers something different, fresh and unique within the realms of Desert/Stoner Rock. The production is fantastic and with Ripple Music releasing this album, you expect to hear a top-notch release such as this.

Overall, Sky Island delivers on all fronts and Yawning Sons may have just released one of the most outstanding Desert Rock albums you’ll hear this year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo. Sky Island will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music from March 26th 2021.


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