Mike & the Y-Tones is a three-piece rock band from Reading, Pennsylvania. The band is made up of Mike Yesconis on guitar and vocals, Matt McCarty on drums and Adam Coffinberger on bass. The band’s debut record Words in My Head is a twangy alt-country take on everything from politics to failed relationships.
So it fits the mold of the genre perfectly. I wouldn’t say that this is what I’d call a healing record, written by Yesconis to come to grips with things from the past, but it definitely has a personal, diary-like feel to it.
Take the politically minded opening track, “You’re Not Like Me” for instance. Here amongst a jangly guitar, a slightly grumpy bass guitar and swishes of drums Yesconis laments “Stars and stripes / You've got a lot to hide behind / Your whole life / You pissed on the ones / That you're not like.” The lyrics however are not delivered with anger, but rather a tone of disappointment, which to me feels like it hurts more. Anyone can shout angrily about a cause but Yesconis and company deliver this tune with a quiet meekness that in the end stings more than an all-out assault of anger.
Next comes the soft spoken rambler of a country tune “All She Said.” With its classic twang and pitter patter of drums the song sounds like it comes from the cannon of sad country love songs.
They add a bit of surf-rock element to their sound on “Divide & Conquer” and then slip into the slow burning pop balladry of “Fine Line” which sounds like a very intimate affair that the listener is overhearing as Yesconis delivers his vocals with a gruff, prayer-like whisper. They pick it up on the upbeat and semi-funk intoned closer “Words in my Head/Cross-Eyed Chicken.”
As a whole Words in My Head seems to reflect its title. It seems to me as though these are songs for something bigger that is to come in the future. I think with that Mike & the Y-Tones is just getting started on making some very interesting and polished contributions to the alt-country genre.
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