"Yards is NOT available for interviews," says the press release I received yesterday about their new video and upcoming tour of Spain. Too bad, because I'm curious about the visuals and title that Yards have attached to this particular song—it's called "Kristallnacht," and this video makes use of flared-out, pixelated World War II footage, with no small reliance on Nazi imagery. That's a strong association to tie to any piece of music, particularly an instrumental one; letting the piece speak for itself, with very little in the way of context, is a bold move, and a not altogether comfortable one.
"Kristallnacht"—the song—is a slowly lurching, initially pretty piece of music that builds dense momentum out of repeated phrases. It achieves an ominousness through steadily building drones, as its whirring, brushed drums and ice-cool piano get buried under thick layers of tone. The music sounds like it's reaching for majesty, but also a bit of horror; juxtaposed with the truly ugly associations of the song's title and the video, the intended effect is unclear—that is, until the video ends with a very long hold on an image of a boy with his hands up in surrender, a white flag to the nastiness that's preceded it, perhaps.
Yards is the visually oriented, largely instrumental side project of Southerly's Krist Krueger, and as mentioned, Yards will embark on a tour of Spain next week. There'll be a hometown send-off show at Valentine's (232 SW Ankeny) on Monday, May 7.