Your Black Star - Sound from the Ground (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Your Black Star

Sound from the Ground (2006)


If this is what happens when the punks grow up, I'm all in.

Your Black Star's debut full-length for Wonkavision Records is a heavily textured atmospheric ride that has way too much going on for it to reasonably conceive it was produced by a three-piece.

While there's not a whole lot of punk going on in Sound from the Ground, Your Black Star has the same kind of crossover appeal that has worked well for some of their contemporaries such as the Stills, whom it is easy to think of when listening to this album.

At first listen, Sound from the Ground sounds almost lazy. Not in the sense that it was put together without talent, but more that the band might not have even been aware or especially engaged in what they were playing in the studio. That's a remarkable achievement considering that after only a few moments it becomes clear that the album is incredibly complex. This is appealing because on one level you can listen to the album in a very passive way -- going to sleep, cooking, having sex -- and it's great when approached in this manner. It's tough to find great background music.

But it's even better to take an active approach when you throw Sound from the Ground onto your stereo. It's only then that you really start to pick up on the intricate melodies and instrumentation -- especially the drumming, which pushes the listener through even the slower moments of the record.

It's too bad that it took Your Black Star about a year to find a label to release Sound from the Ground in America. The rest of the world has been enjoying it for the better part of a year.