Clearly not a band to shy away from a challenge, the Denver country punks in the Yawpers decided to make their third LP a concept record about a tragedy set in World War I France… including a song in French. Oh, and none of these guys actually speak French.
Regardless, ‘Boy in a Well‘ still manages to come out remarkably well. Ambitious as hell and not nearly as accessible as 2015’s ‘American Man,’ but on repeat lessons you begin to realize just how strong this record is.
The concept focuses on a mother who abandons her unwanted newborn. With that framework, the Yawpers are able to bring about an emotionally deep and wildly satisfying set of songs. Among the stand outs here are the country-infused “A Visitor is Welcomed” and the achingly beautiful “Room With a View.” Written as Nate Cook’s marriage was imploding, likely a strong influence here, ‘Boy in a Well’ is emotionally charged from the first track on and never lets up.
Along with writing some of their most ambitious songs to date, the band also brought in Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Guns n‘ Roses, Soul Asylum, Bash & Pop) to play on a few songs. The result is an impressive collection of music that grows with greatness with each listen. A big gamble that pays off handsomely.