Yellow Dead Bettys are modern rockers from Fort Wayne. Their new album recalls the alternative music of the late 80s and early 90s by creating rock sounds similar to Stone Temple Pilots or Alice in Chains.
Opening track "All the Same" sets the mood for what's to follow, introducing many of the devices employed by the band throughout this eponymous debut. Bass and guitar riffage carry the verses before dissolving into an arpeggiated chorus. The song eventually takes a breather for a bridge in cut time.
Frontman Chris Liechty has a thick alternative voice that walks the line between Puddle of Mudd-esque whine and Stone Temple Pilots-esque drawl without landing too close to either. He sings and sometimes growls through songs about good times, false devotion and cynicism towards life. I-told-you-so's and I-should-have-known's abound lyrically, but don't think the music is all a downer; the aggressively up-tempo musical backdrop keeps the sound from sinking emotionally.
The whole front end of the Yellow Dead Bettys plays pretty heavy, with the distortion up and riffs a plenty. Even on slow burners like "The Happy Song" the guitar machine continues to churn. Then, around track 6, "R.A.I.L.," the generally thick texture opens up to allow space for a groove of cleaner guitar strums and bouncy bass rhythms. Layered acoustic guitar gets a chance to add rhythm on "P.W.P.S." and "Flood." Unexpected time signature manipulation creates a hook on "Waste of Time."
Karly Liechty, the fourth member of Yellow Dead Bettys, is actually absent from this recording. She has been singing with the band for quite some time, and now that she is a regular member she will be featured on the band's follow-up album, tentatively titled Social Disease and likely be released toward the end of Summer 2009.
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March 27 • The Clyde