Yautja Infuse New Life into Sludgecore on 'The Lurch'
Published May 18, 2021Nashville-based three-piece Yautja set the bar high with their 2014 debut, Songs of Descent, and sophomore album The Lurch exceeds all expectations. Building on a solid foundation of sludge, hardcore and grindcore, Yautja have created a record that is familiar yet new at the same time.
Yautja's greatest strength is their chemistry as a band and their ability to play off one another. Songs like "Tethered" and "Before the Foal" have plenty of jerky tempo changes throughout, befitting the album's title, creating an uneasy listening experience. This is never more apparent than on "Catastrophic," which emphasizes different accents to create a sensation of constant reinvention. These changes allow for Yautja to take some unprecedented risks in their music that keep their heavy music sounding fresh and interesting from start to finish.
The album features plenty of highlights from each member of the band, but everything sonically resolves around drumming on The Lurch. Tyler Coburn's skill in utilizing various drumbeats within a song allows the band to do so much more with less. With tracks like "The Weight" and "The Spectacle," his alterations allow the band to be more unpredictable with their songwriting and to change the mood of a song without leaving a riff. On "Undesirables," Coburn's fills and rhythms both push and pull the band's momentum on a song built on a singular idea.
The Lurch infuses new life into sludge and grindcore tropes through unorthodox grooves. Yautja have made their collective chemistry their greatest asset in a way that makes familiar subgenres of heavy music new and unpredictable. The Lurch may be considered the band's finest work in their catalogue, and once again set the standards for their future work incredibly high. (Relapse)