Thursday, February 25, 2016

“Dreamless Winter”
(Other Electricities)

John Darnielle said it best once: “If you cop my style, I’ll hunt you down and murder you.” Actually, he really didn’t say that, I put those words in his mouth. But if he really felt that way, then George Geanuracos would have to watch his back. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Geanuracos records under the name Yankee Roses (anybody else want to read that as Yankee Candle, continuously?), and he sounds an awful lot like early Mountain Goats. Now, I like early Mountain Goats, so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there’s no other comparison I’m able or willing to make. (OK, I’ll say Woody Guthrie, too. But that’s it!) Therefore, in the alternate universe where John Darnielle is a bloodthirsty maniac, he’s already on a bus to Richmond, because I gave Geanuracos’s location away. Whoops! That one’s on me.

Like Darnielle, Geanuracos sings about the little details of life, taking on the mantle of storyteller and spinning modern yarns from the perspective of Appalachia. He is impervious to criticism, as he makes quite clear on “The Best Revenge” where he says, “The best revenge is living well.” Any haters are invited to observe that ol’ George is doing just fine and dandy. Apparently he has at least a few enemies, because on another song about revenge, “Mental Revenge,” he says, “I will have sweet, sweet mental revenge.” I’ve now said “revenge” quite a few times in this paragraph, so I’ll stop there. Let’s hope he’s feeling extra good up there on his judgmental pedestal, looking down on everybody else. Just kidding, you guys! Lighten up, geez.

Unlike Darnielle, Yankee Roses covers a Guided By Voices tune, and it’s a beaut: “Motor Away.” That just makes me want to listen to GBV, though, so congratulations, Mr. Geanuracos, I know what I’m listening to next. Thanks for that inspiration. May you and your Washburn (if that’s what you’re playing) traverse the East Coast with impunity. I also hope that you stay safe – we don’t want any Mountain Goats–related incidents to occur.

--Ryan Masteller