Thurs July 25
"SCIENCE OF YABRA MEANS TWEAKING THE GUITARS,
SMASHING THE DRUMS, AND CRANKING IT AS LOUD AS WE CAN," types Tim Dunegan. Tim has a habit of writing his emails entirely in capital letters. While normally that would be a vaguely annoying trait, it seems to drive home the point that his band, local hardcore rockers Science of Yabra, is loud, tough, and tight, with a stage intensity gripping enough to pop out your eyeballs. You can't ignore an all-caps email, and you can't tune out the cement-heavy rock of Science of Yabra.
Relocated to Portland from Santa Cruz about a year ago, Science of Yabra descends from the muscle-y, Frenetic Records trio called A Great Divide, which featured Tim (bass) and guitarist/vocalist Luke Clements. In accordance with the parameters set by A Great Divide, Science of Yabra's music is like grating two flints together to make fire--abrasive yet satisfying, double-fisted rock dynamite, rounded out by guitarist Nick Clements (brother of Luke) and Mike May on drums. It's loud, it's screamy, it's got a buttload of cajones, and it's similar to a couple of bands from the same region as Science of Yabra; namely, Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. "LUKE AND NICK WISH THEY WERE THE REIS BROTHERS INSTEAD OF THE CLEMENTS BROTHERS," confirms Tim, capitally. "BOTH OF THOSE BANDS ARE HUGE INFLUENCES."
Even still, Science of Yabra's signature, unflinching, punch-tuffness--heavy and hollered, but still uniquely melodic--belongs to only them, and you can hear it on their new, self-titled record. In super-punk fashion, it's self-released, and only available on LP--"financial suicide," as one friend put it--but its heavy-gram vinyl is not the result of inheritances or trust funds. Science of Yabra works hard. Tim explains, "WE ALL COME FROM WORKING CLASS BACKGROUNDS." Consequently, their upbringing has an affect on Science of Yabra's songwriting material.
"THE SONGS ARE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAVING THINGS HANDED TO YOU, VERSUS HAVING TO WORK FOR THEM," he continues. When I ask if they would consider themselves a political band, Tim says, "THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD THAT GET WHAT THEY WANT HANDED TO THEM ON A SILVER PLATTER, AND THERE ARE THOSE THAT HAVE TO WORK FOR WHAT THEY HAVE. IF THAT IS POLITICAL, THEN IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO PAIR POLITICS WITH OUR MUSIC. OTHERWISE, WE ARE NOT A POLITICAL BAND--WE'RE DEFINITELY A ROCK BAND FIRST."
However, though anyone who's seen Science of Yabra would agree that they are definitely adept at rocking the house, that doesn't mean they glorify the "rock lifestyle" or think it's desirable in any way, thank goodness. Says Tim, "WHEN WE PLAY, WE WANT TO SMASH, AND WE HOPE PEOPLE LIKE WHAT THEY HEAR. BUT DURING THE SONGS, WE AREN'T THINKING ABOUT WHICH MOVES WILL ATTRACT THE MOST BACKSTAGE BETTIES, OR WHICH LICKS WILL GET US IN THE INDUSTRY RAGS. LIKE MOST BANDS, WE WANT TO WRITE GOOD SONGS, MAKE RECORDS, AND TOUR. WHAT DRIVES US IS BEING IN THIS GANG THAT PUSHES ITSELF."
Ultimately, Tim said it best: "WE WANT TO SMASH." Science of Yabra smashes the shit out of hardcore, bashes holes in rock, and blasts shotgun rounds at screamo. Get battered by their capitals.