Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The kiwi-looking birds that grace the cover of Way Yes' cassette-only release of the Columbus, Ohio band's EPs "Herringbone" and "Walkability" seem to be off. They appear to be wrong, but the ways in which they're wrong doesn't jump out immediately at you. There is just something dwelling inside you that tells you that these birds are trouble, that they could snap at any second and get you into a compromising position that you'll never, ever get out of. And those are just the kiwi birds which -- we've already said, appear to look harmless enough. You're just going on the sick feeling that you have in the bottom of your stomach that they're filled with a cunning darkness. The bees look like horseflies and the crabs look like they've got dinner bibs on, ready to dig into whatever they can get their pinchers on. We think that means that something bad is going to happen to any human being that crosses paths with them. All of this ominous sensation still comes before we've glanced at the huge, Jabba The Hut-looking whale creature, with its severed tale. It looks to be covered in spotty fur and wearing a wrestling singlet and a headband. It's got more tiny teeth than a shark and a serpentine tongue that could wag like a dog's tail, slapping wet across its entire front side or wrap around its ears.
All of these creatures are floating in a purpled outer space, but they could just as easily be living next door to the tropical wonderland that Way Yes pins up in its fluid, vibe-based songs. These creatures might exist to keep everyone around them honest, to make them thankful for the non-stressed times they might enjoy if they'd just allow themselves to. There is little stress in these songs, even when they come with distressed subject matter. We hear about death and graveyards, but as they apply to the loss of friends to indifference or some misunderstanding.
"Important" is a song that feels as if it's topped with a ring of salt and could go down the hatch in a refreshing gulp, but the question being asked is that of a person wondering why none of their friends will pick up the phone when they call and why they make up excuses when they see them otherwise. It's a heartbreaking situation that sounds like it's being had while on a vacation. Maybe, it's just that when you've got your mind on sinister-looking, serpentine-tongued creatures, these minor social snafus don't feel so horrible after all. You're gonna take a hit some way. It might as well be the loss of a friend to bullshit reasons over a chomping of the jugular and the ensuing bloodbath.
Way Yes Official Site