Call me Yellow but I don't have the fortitude to experience Naomi Punk's latest album again.Captured Tracks, 2017
3.8 / 10
Any record that runs for 75 minutes requires a commitment from its listeners. Naomi Punk test that commitment repeatedly on their new album, Yellow. Stretching out over 25 tracks, their new album is often a joyless trek through a sludgy swamp. In a smaller size, it might work. MIGHT. But maybe as an EP. Even as a shorter LP, Yellow would still be a chore to get through. It’s a shame considering the strength of their last album, Television Man.
Think of Television Man, as a drain in a sink. That album swallowed muck and grime with an occasional gurgle. Still, everything passed through the drain with no threat of dirty water sticking around. However, the opposite is true for Yellow. The sink clogs almost instantly with maybe just a tiny pinhole for sludge to seep through. This album threatens to overflow, getting your floor dirty. So dirty that you’re going to have to pry up the flooring afterward.
Just a few tracks pass as songs with the rest sounding like scraps of songs. The album kicks off with such nonsense with two introductions and a sloppy tuning session called “Chernobyl Carrot” to start this double album. Yep. It feels like we finally get a real song around “Chapter II” (the seventh song!). Here, frontman Travis Coster sings about altering his mind. But let’s just assume he’s using drugs to do so. That might explain some of the album’s more nonsensical lyrics like this verse pulled from “Yellow Cone Hat”:
Mudslide over freeway traffic
Fake systems obscured the gravesites
Yoga health cult fake freedom
I took some time to be with myself
You get much from that? Nah, didn’t think so. It’s a shame too because pieces of Yellow feel like missed opportunities. “70 Cents” could have been something remarkable with more polish and attention. Instead, it’s another scrap in a scrapyard; tossed away to be ultimately forgotten. Much like this album.