Yuppie - A Place To Call My Own (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


A Place To Call My Own (2020)

Invention City Records

On their latest EP, A Place to Call My Own, Yuppie has put together a short collection of songs that fit firmly into the alternative pop rock category. Musically, the album is filled with nods to bands you’d find on alternative rock radio a quarter of a century ago. This gives these songs a certain level of familiarity, that isn’t to say you’ve heard them before. But, that if you were born in the mid to late 80’s, these songs remind you of the bands you grew up on when you first had the ability to listen to the radio without your parents’ in the room. Typically, this works to the band’s advantage as the lyrics and melodies have a way of getting stuck in your head. There were a couple of occasions though where I found myself pausing the music so I could remember what band I was thinking of. Whether that should count as a strike against the band, or me, as someone who’s been reviewing music for the past twenty years, I’m not sure.

One the definite strengths of these songs, are the vocals. Zack Sliver and James Lampe create some great vocal harmonies. These harmonies add an extra dimension to songs that wouldn’t have been as memorable, had either of them been singing without the other. The other major success here, vocally, knows when you utilize backing vocals and when to let a single voice carry the song. For a fairly young band, I believe this is their second or third official release, recognizing restraint when writing songs definitely shows their maturity as songwriters.

Lyrically, songs like “A Place to Call My Own”, “Curses”, and “Scoundrel” are reminiscent of Evan Dando’s not so dark moments. To put it a different way, these songs show you where the band has been. But, you never get the sense that they felt the need to make those situations darker for the sake of sounding more rock and roll. There are instances where this leads to me thinking a band have neutered themselves lyrically to gain wider appeal, but living in the same city as Zack and James that’s just how they are. They're just two honest dudes who play music in town. 

The music on this album, as mentioned earlier, is highly reminiscent of 90’s alternative pop rock. The lead guitar work by James Lampe was especially interesting, not because there is any jaw dropping solo on this release, But, given his ability to play a completely different style of music than he does in his other band, Abertooth Lincoln. The rhythm section is made up of Zack Thompson on bass and Bob Tewksbury on drums, the two of them provide a great bed for Zack and James to play over while creating some great vocal harmonies.

All things considered, this is 90’s pop/rock comfort food. The music never deviates into the realm of being heavy, just to get some fuzzed out guitar feedback on there, not does it try to get overly experimental. For a band called Yuppie, you never get the impression they’re trying to do anything to show off to you. You’re just given a genuine sense of who these guys are, and that’s just some guys from Dayton, Ohio who write music together.