The Yodees - The Yodees (Cover Artwork)

The Yodees

The Yodees (2019)

Outloud! Records

This isn’t the first stuff to come from The Yodees, a Brazilian-based Ramonescore band, but it’s the first I’ve heard. On The Yodees, they offer up lots of buzzing guitars, 60’s-era backing vocals, and bunches of songs about girls.

On the 8-song The Yodees, the batting average is pretty high. The first three songs come out of the gate with loads of earworms. Opener “Better With Love” is a mid-tempo pop song with a nice two-hit snare bounce and backing vocals that sound like they’d fit in perfect at a sock hop. Holding true to form, the melody seems familiar, like a throwback to something from the ‘60’s. “Void In My Heart” goes a similar direction. It’s another poppy mid-tempo song with an endearing melody during the chorus and a cool lead guitar. The lyrics are kind of naive and pretty melancholy as they sing about being unexpectedly dumped (lines include “I thought everything was fine / and that you always will be mine” and “Please, please don't go away / Please, please I want you to stay / There will be a void in my heart if you move to Spain”). But the best part here are the backing vocals, which alternate between “ooh’s”, “aah’s”, and “do’s”, with each done in different and effective patterns. The third song, “Loony”, is maybe the fastest song on here. That tempo and the snotty angst-ridden vocals skew this one more towards the punk end of the spectrum and the hook-filled bridge and chorus keep the song aces.

My likely favorite on the record comes a few songs later. “Everybody Is Growing Up (But Me)” is more akin to “Loony” than the others. It’s loaded with buzzing Ramones energy and speed and dripping with frustration and angst. The incessant guitars play a simple and simply great chord progression. And when the bridge comes up, the melody is to die for. Right after, the hooks on the chorus try to outdo it. It’s like a great game of one-upmanship within a song.

While most of this is fantastic, there are a couple of things that lose me. The middle section of the record has a couple of come-down songs. “The Vitamin Shoppe Girl” and “Lost My Valentine” slow things down, zapping a bit of the energy from the record. Both songs have nice melodies and decent guitar leads, but they also both kind of drag. My only other complaint might be a few of the lyrics. Lines like “I can't stand going to the mall / Be your plus one at your niece's ball” (from “Better With Love”) just don’t land. Worse yet, “Second Chances” offers up the saccharine “And I can see I was so dumb / You are my only one / I'll prove my love to you under the rain and sun”. But these complaints are rather mundane and sporadic.

The Yodees is a pretty good record. They do the Ramones worship well, working in both the bubblegum and ‘60’s influences and the buzzing guitars. The songwriting is mostly spot on and fans of this kind of thing will find a bunch to like here.