Review: Roley Yuma – S/T

Well, it took a couple decades, but it looks like Dayton, ground zero for bands as notable as The Breeders, Brainiac and Guided By Voices, has unearthed its answer to Philadelphia’s Latimer. Twenty fours years after LP Title, Latimer’s debut full-length, hit streets, the band Roley Yuma has released its second full-length, the self-titled successor to 2010’s Sun Tea. And, like LP Title, it is a milestone of grungy, dirgy, loose-around-the-edges punk energy and garage attitude.

Roley Yuma seems a little more concerned than Latimer with hooks – evidence: the catchy-as-TB “Two Trenches,” whose vocals feature an unanticipated sheen – but the comparison, for the most part, holds. Like Latimer, the crunching guitars and pseudo solo-age sort of trips and tumbles, quite purposefully, out of verses, choruses and bridges, and the bottom end is nothing if not firm. (You’ll be Googling away to find out more about this drummer.) Songs like “Bugaboo,” with its verses of chug-a-lug bass train tracks and anthemic choruses, are particularly catchy.

Sometimes, though, the comparison doesn’t work at all. To that, I point you toward “Why R U So Dark, My Only Boy?,” which not only features a Redd Kross vibe but some bombastic stops and starts whose sense of drama would please Buzz Osborne. This thing is bubbling over with vitriol and the frontman knows how to belt out a lyric. An interesting listen. – Justin Vellucci, Swordfish, July 16, 2019


About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.