Review for "So You Think You're Most Peculiar" by Heath Andrews of

Yellow Jumps Twice has been at the music game for fifteen years, forming back in 2000 and having released their first, self-titled album, back in 2002. Now, in 2015 the band's gone through several different incarnations but this latest one, based out of Hamburg, is now releasing their second full album together. So You Think You're Most Peculiar is eleven songs of fairly straight forward, tightly constructed rock and roll with some great catchy hooks thrown in for good measure.
The band's lead singer, songwriter, and producer; Sebastian Teufel, is backed by keyboardist and backing vocalist Ralf Lange, guitarist Christian Urban, bassist Frank Lisker, and Marcin Kuziel on drums. They're a very talented group, all contributing some powerful performances from start to finish. Teufel's songwriting helps distinguish them from other groups of their type, as does his voice. Teufel isn't the greatest vocalist in the world, and that actually works to his benefit in how it makes him unique. He has a bit of the mid 90's Britpop style, not as tuneful as Damon Albarn from Blur, but not as droning or flat as Liam Gallagher from Oasis.

"Stepping Stones," the opening track, displays the simple yet effective approach to rock that Yellow Jumps Twice codifies. The piece opens with a nice guitar riff before being joined with a distorted lead. As the drums enter, the guitar roars to life while a massive bassline chugs along underneath. Here is where you get to appreciate Teufel’s voice. It’s able to cut through the instrumentation and effectively convey emotion and energy.

In Beauty and Grace” marks the start of a trend where fantastic guitar solos pop up just to show that the guys know how to rock. Once again you have the solid bassline and a chiming guitar tone, but you also have the keyboards emulating an organ, helping add to the beauty and grace theme of the song. The guitar solo though goes above what the song needs to do to be effective and hits home hard. The same happens in the following track, “Life Goes On” where the song is a bit more reserved in its instrumentation and riffing, until the solo pops up and again harnesses the power of rock.

Heaven” slows things down considerably, bringing in a gentler mood and some faux strings from the keyboards. The lyric here is really pointed, asking questions about why someone chooses to live life the way they do. The track betters itself as it goes along with the help of another guitar solo and the keyboards taking on a more traditional style of sound as opposed to emulating strings. The tone they use on the next track however is perfect from start to finish. “Digging In Your Soul” sports a kind of late night feel to it between the soft drums, keyboards and deep bass. The piece builds as it goes along though with the guitar eventually snarling away.

Changing things up a bit is the acoustic start of “Where Are You Now.” A quarter of the way through the song it changes again to bring in the keyboards, drums, and bass. Here the keys are used more in a piano styling, which actually helps keep with the acoustic opening that leads into it. Lange’s best performance however is arguably on the final piece, “It’s Just Me.” At over eight minutes long, it’s far and away the most sprawling song on the record, but it also allows for the most space to play things out, and Lange takes full advantage of the chorus to do just that. Even though the track is a bit overly long, the performances hold it together nicely. And, as one might expect, yes, the guitar solo here is pretty fantastic.

Hey Laura” is a testament to the talents of Kuziel on his drum kit. To start, the drums here are slightly harder than they are on the tracks around it but there’s also some finely finessed cymbal work that takes place during the chorus and guitar solo. Teufel brings some of his best lyrical and vocal abilities to the table as well, which along with the percussion track, really heightens the intensity of this song.

The remaining numbers on the album are also quite solid, effectively making it a formulaic, but enjoyable experience. Riffs, solos, keyboards for good measure, slightly quirky vocalist; it’s all there to partake of without being too challenging to appreciate. Though the band sticks to a working formula, Yellow Jumps Twice doesn’t come across as monotonous. So You Think You’re So Peculiar does exactly what it sets out to do by rocking and delivering a great set of songs for music fans to listen to.

Artist: Yellow Jumps Twice

Album: So You Think You’re So Peculiar

Review By: Heath Andrews

Rating 4.5 Stars (out of 5)

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