It's been 5 years since the last Yolks record and in that 5 years I've probably listened to that debut a hundred times. This leads me to my first question. Why so sad Yolks? On Kings of Awesome, The Yolks have eased way off of the accelerator and have turned in a much more mellow album. While it's still very good and the songwriting has improved, I kind of miss the pedal to the metal barrage of hooks that made up their first album.
Kings of Awesome is absolutely still influenced by the sounds of the 60's. But unlike their debut, which was a call back to some of the simple garage bands of yore, Kings of Awesome takes a much more soulful approach. The production is much cleaner, the guitars less fuzzy and the hooks more subtle. You'll never deny that a song like "I Want Your Number" is a toe tapping hit, but it's not as immediate and attention grabbing as I was expecting.
Things continue on the B-side, which consists of three 5+ minute long songs. Two of them are organ soaked instrumentals and the other is a 6 minute long cover of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say." It's flat out great and one of the highlights of the record, but it is probably a bit longer than I personally need it to be. I think they could have accomplished the same thing in 4 minutes.
I imagine that if you're reading this, you probably think I don't like this record. That's actually not true at all. I enjoy it quite a bit and if this were the first thing I had heard from The Yolks, I would have nothing but positive things to say. But it's so much different from their first record I can't help but get caught up pointing out the differences. It's absolutely worth checking out and picking up, just know that you're in for something new.
The Yolks - Kings of Awesome: