Stephen Yerkey "Metaneonatureboy" Review


There are two things that jump into my mind when listening to Stephen Yerkey's Metaneonatureboy: the first being what I feel the music to be, and what I think Yerkey feels the music to be. Growing up, I really got off on using the word "bastardization" in terms of alternative music. I remember calling people out when they would claim their favorite music to be alternative. “It’s an alternative to what?!” I often responded, following with a statement along the lines of, “That’s merely a bastardization of the term, man.” On an opposite yet similar note, through print and video artists often refer to their projects as something that they wanted to hear, make, watch, etc. “I just wanted to make the kind of music that I wanted to hear at the time.” Unfortunately, as experience has shown me, this statement repeatedly reflects something along the lines of “I just wanted to make music that I was hearing elsewhere, and thought to myself, I could probably come up with something pretty close to that.”

Metaneonatureboy would be an album that I would call alternative, and after simply one song in, it’s easy to understand that Yerkey is truthfully “making the kind of music that he wanted to hear at the time.” Starting with a two song bluesy set, including the dark, despondent Delta track, “Dark and Bloody Ground.” “Fall Out of Love” inspires what would become an ongoing theme of deeply rooted instrumental versatility, with its inclusion of piano, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, a little guitar, a little bass, and backing vocals by Colleen Browne. “Alice MacAllister” offers my favorite “love as an intoxicant” lyric as of late, “I’m drunk at breakfast, I’m drunk at dinner, I’m drunk at… Alice MacAllister.” Not to be out done however by anecdotal “Cadillacs of That Color,” “‘Reverend Ike, how can you help people riding in a car that looks like a pickle?’ And he fixed me with an intense stare and said, ‘Little boy, how can I help people riding on a bicycle?’” “My Baby Love the Western Violence” offers a slick, hip politically incorrect love psalm. Taking a trip through what can only be affectionately called lounge-core, and “Link Wray’s Girlfriend,” the album ends with the ten minute “Stinson Beach Road,” a song deeply entranced in instrumental ossification. What's that, you say? Your favorite music is alternative…? Take a listen to Metaneonatureboy and please reconsider the lingo.