By Mike Dunn
Cardinal Fuzz/Pre Rock Records
Teeming with fuzzed out, buzzsaw guitars, Yet Again, the debut LP from Saskatoon’s The Switching Yard, wears the gritty influence of the earliest punk rock like patches on a worn, cracked leather jacket. However, not content to merely ride the style of Funhouse-era Stooges through the LP’s 35-odd-minute runtime, Yet Again is shot through with nods to a number of other classic rock n’ roll acts, while its lo-fi aesthetic keeps it current with DIY energy and charm.
“Champagne Action” bangs off the get go with a mid-tempo snarl, not quite the pace of the MC5 or Funhouse, but the Iggy Pop sneer will be immediately noticeable, as will the Fred Smith rhythm guitars, or the wound up Scott Asheton wah pedal freakouts in the lead guitars. “Hard Luck” has a vibe that mashes up the early ‘90s alternative/punk explosions of Sonic Youth and Mudhoney, leading into the nine-minute, drifting galaxy brain stew of “Behind The Gates.” The MC5/Sabbath burner “Hank It’s Midnight,” is a ripping, revved-up, muscle car tear-assing through the woods in the dark, with doomy guitars pushing along on a repetitive riff while other riffs circle the waters underneath like sharks around a flesh wound.
If some of the tone of Yet Again sounds familiar, it should. Formed by Brennan Barclay and Steve Novakowski, along with Peter Henderson, The Switching Yard also features Chris Laramee and Jay Loos of Shooting Guns (Barclay also plays with Shooting Guns). There’s some of that local familiarity at work on Yet Again, but the presence of dual vocals, especially the caustic Iggy Pop sass, gives The Switching Yard a slightly different aesthetic from their Saskatoon pals.Cardinal Fuzz/Pre Rock Records, The Switching Yard, Yet Again