Mother Yeti’s second full length album My Best Please added a touch of chaotic, mystical, and ambitious indie rock to the music scene in early 2020. A project spearheaded by the relatively young band’s lead guitarist Bill Tracy, the record defines variety. From dreamy guitar solos to crisp, loud tracks that you can’t help but scream the lyrics to, My Best Please has it all.
The album’s most notable tracks are the ones which I wouldn’t really be able to pin a precise genre to; many feature abrupt transitions halfway through or switch styles for the chorus. “Push The Weather,” one of the catchiest songs on the album, is the epitome of this. The song is misty and faint in the first verse, and features confusing yet captivating lyrics, “five thousand years or so, ancient city down below, get yourself straightened up boy” among them. But every few lines, “I push the weather” returns and the track becomes lively and excited. The variety is dynamic and drives the catchiness of the album.
Artist: Mother Yeti
Album: My Best Please (Neurodisc/Global Heist Recordings)
Genre: (self-described) Rock music influenced by soul, punk, psychedelic country, and alternative wave forms
Base of Operations: Moscow, Idaho
Members: Bill Tracy, Zack Degler, Jim Rizzuto, Joseph Hein, Zachary Calkins
About: Mother Yeti is an eclectic rock band from the Northwest. Fuzzy, warm, freaky, dreamy, and strange.
Home Online: Facebook
Above: Jim Rizzuto, Bill Tracy, and Joseph Hein; photo by Mary Stewart.
Other songs on the album remain in the mysterious, dreamy clouds of mellow melodies. The title track, “My Best Please,” is smooth and filled with pleasurable vocal harmonies and narrative musings: “wake me up in the morning, free me from my misery.”
The title track is an example of a contrast which reappears in other songs and which makes the record so interesting — the contrast between the mood of the music and the mood of the lyrics. The repeated cry to “free me from my misery” is given against a backdrop of a soothing instrumental accompaniment that does not scream misery. In “All By Myself,” Tracy screams about “playing solitaire” and being “lone-lone-lone-lonely,” but the song rocks and rolls like no other one on the record, and the chorus’s melody feels almost uplifting.
Tracks like “My Best Please” and “All By Myself” paint pictures of confused emotion. Other tracks scream control. “In Your Eyes” features lyrics like “got the rythm and I feel the thrill.” But even this one talks of some sense of not quite being satisfied; “wanted to see it in your eyes, wanted to feel it from your mind” sounds like desire. This album is nuanced and the emotions are complex. These aspects kept me listening.
Musically, I equally loved the wailing vocals of tracks like “Sober Head” and “Wanted It Funny” and the tender vocals of the delicate “Over My Head.” The extended instrumental solos throughout the record provide refreshing balance, but the vocals never get old either. I did find myself wishing at certain points that some vocal lines wouldn’t be overpowered by instrumental lines.
For many songs on this album, the lyrics themselves aren’t nearly as important as the way they are delivered. The lines “all by myself in the morning, all by myself in the night, I stood alone in a table and a chair, so unhappy there, playing solitaire” have clever and fun rhymes, but don’t paint a particularly vivid picture without the help of the killer vocals.
From start to finish, My Best Please offers an exciting narrative journey. It should be listened to in its entirety, in one sitting preferably, because it’s tough not to appreciate the record as a whole when you hear the sheer number of completely different sounds that Mother Yeti has to offer.
Bio: Owen Tucker-Smith is a student journalist based in Williamstown interested in climate, politics, music, and the stories of young people. He is finishing a two year tenure as editor-in-chief of the Greylock Echo, Williamstown’s high school paper, and is excited to be telling stories at a time when quality journalism is more important than ever.