Yves Tumor - Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)
Mar 19, 2023 (updated Mar 19, 2023)
Deep Dive Review

Yves Tumor is an act that I've been following for some time now. Their abstract but hypnotic 2018's "Safe In The Hands Of Love" matched neo-psych and post-industrial elements for one of the most distorted and unique listening experiences. I liked it at the time, but their music didn't fully click for me until 2020's fiery "Heaven To A Tortured Mind." Channeling the spirits of funk, punk, and soul greats like Prince, Grace Jones, The Cure amongst others, that record while still fairly idiosyncratic had more structure, melodies, harmonies, bass, and guitar solos. It wasn't nearly as experimental as its predecessor but just as beautiful to my ears.

The new album continues to play with the genre-mashing and this aura of accessibility. Opener "God Is A Circle" feels more vintage Yves Tumor with its looped breathing sounds, propulsive beat, and glitchy guitars setting an uneasy tone and depicting someone trying their best to get out of their head. It's followed by the glistening "Lovely Sewer," a track that blissfully dazes the listener with its shoegaze guitar chugs, shimmering synths, and beautiful backing vocals.

Alternating steadily between pristine acoustic picking and massed electric guitar riffing/kick drum interchange, "Meteora Blues" is a grunge rock piece that slides along with grace, head high. Aided by a 50-second atmospheric choir interlude, it seamlessly transitions into the woozy "Parody," a track where Bowie's light falsetto vocals and tinkling guitars merge well behind some deprecating lyrics.

Then there comes the record’s centerpiece, "Heaven Surrounds Us Like A Hood," a song that, just like its predecessor, utilizes Bowie's falsetto but with more frantic backing instrumentation. With lyrics touching upon childhood, and spirituality, and alluding to this sense of safety that comes from being enveloped with something bigger than oneself, the thundering drum work and scorching guitar trashes deepens the emotional resonance.

Elsewhere on the record, the gospel-tinged, 90s alt-rock-inspired cut "In Spite Of War" yearns for a connection while the glamorous post-punk-ish "Echolalia” inquires about a divine relationship between toe-tapping drums, sparkling keys, and a moody bassline.

"Fear Evil Like Fire" bears the catchiest hook on the album and effortlessly enchants with its double-kick drum groove, while "Purified By the Fire" is perhaps the closest thing we get to a sour note on the record as it's just a glitchy house/hip-hop instrumental piece. It sounds good but sticks out like a sore thumb through the listening experience. The wonderful closer "Ebony Eye" ends the record on a high, though, with its radiant string section and cloud-parting choral passage that makes you feel like you're ascending to heaven.

Overall, "Hot Between Worlds" is yet again another marvelous Yves Tumor release. Just like its predecessors, it defies easy categorization while blending its ideas and influences so well that it hardly matters. It might be a bit early to hail Sean Bowie as a visionary, but they've certainly done more to change the landscape of modern music than the majority of their peers.

VERDICT: Light 9

Excellent review!
@BaddieBaphomet (She/Her) Thank u!!!
beautiful review
@cliffsoundtrack thank u!
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