The debut album by Yard Of Blonds
Let's start with the short version up front: Feed The Moon by Yard of Blondes is an absolutely massive work of hard alternative rock, and shouldn't be missed. The compositions are surprisingly intricate, the lyrics are deeper than normal, and the production is absolutely immaculate. This could be one of the big indie rock hits of 2021.
Yard of Blondes is unique through and through. They started as a married folk rock duo in France. Lead guitarist and vocalist Vincent Walter Jacob as primary songwriter, alongside bassist and co-vocalist Fanny Hill. A few years ago they moved to LA and expanded to be a four-piece by adding Californian Forrest Mitchell on drums, and a Turkish guitarist by the name of Burak Yerebakan. This cultural mix alone gives them a truly unique sound, which they've continued to explore and expand in singles and EPs for the past few years.
And they’re smart. Vincent has a PhD in philosophy - priming the excellent, emotionally driven lyrics - and Fanny has several degrees in communication and business. Between their global outlook and educational background, they're able to make smart rock that still rocks.
And Feed The Moon does absolutely rock. It starts off with Do You Need More?, already a hit on nationwide and college radio stations. The track begins in a disarmingly simple fashion, with a great guitar riff and pounding drums, becoming more intricate as Fanny layers on vocals, and the composition turns to complex call-and-response patterns. It harks back to the late 2000s east coast scene, with the same combination of high energy rock and thoughtful lyrics.
This is a style used on many of their songs, starting off simple and adding complexity. Lowland - another hit single - starts out as a solo voice-and-guitar piece, something of a ballad, before ramping up to become far heavier and even throwing in a shredding classic guitar solo that sounds like a tribute to Skynyrd.
You and I & I veers more into 90s goth territory with haunting, sighing vocals segueing into a downbeat duet between Vincent and Fanny. Like many of their songs, there's a vibe of anger and resentment simmering beneath a superficially happy exterior. 1994 is another example, with an anthemic chorus talking about the days 'back in 1994' within a story that suggests teenage love leading to an unplanned pregnancy, and things going wrong.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Feed The Moon is that its compositional and lyrical complexity almost travels it into prog rock territory. Fans of bands like Dream Theater would likely dig Yard of Blondes - yet they never feel pretentious or needlessly showy. The entire album is accessible, never lacking for head-banging moments regardless of whether the listener notices everything going on beneath the surface.
This is partly because of the amazing talent they amassed behind the scenes during years building their name at live shows. The album was produced by Billy Graziadei of Biohazard, mastered by Maor Applebaum of Faith No More, and mixed by Mike Patterson, who's worked with Beck and NIN/Trent Reznor among others.
Feed The Moon is a great album, by a great band, assisted by other greats from hard rock history. We cannot recommend it highly enough for fans of the genre.