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Any Raw Flesh?
Label: Wonky Records
Length: 11 tracks/45:47

_Any Raw Flesh?_ is the debut album from Seattle-area singer and guitarist Shawn “Yogi” Farley.  He enlists the help of “the best drummer in Seattle” (liner notes), Chris Gorczyca, and eminent bass player Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Mike Keneally, Frank Zappa).  The result is an independent album that does not sound like an independent - it is well mixed, well-engineered, lyrically sound, and,  oh yeah - it ROCKS!

Yogi cites King’s X and composer John Williams as influences, and both are evident here.  Star Wars fans will enjoy the opening track, “I Have a Very Bad Feeling About This.”  Citing lyrics here would give too much away.   “You Fell” is the most King’s X-like track, reminiscent of “Smudge” from the _Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous_ album, or Doug Pinnick’s solo work.  At times it also resembles early Alice in Chains.

“My Love for Lois is Real” is a standout musically, striking me as a combination between Ty Tabor and Extreme.  It details the life of a man attracted to a woman - perhaps too much:

  I’m no psycho in lipstick and heels
  I know my love for Lois is real
  Won’t read about me next to Manson, Gacy
  When you see my love is real…

  I know when she comes and goes
  I bugged all her telephones
  And tape record her calls…

This portrayal is an accurate depiction of a stalker, from the stalker’s point of view. Lyrically, it holds up well against “Every Breath You Take”, while far surpassing it musically.

“Throw Me a Bone” is either a commentary on a back-stabbing co-worker, or Farley’s indictment of the music business:

  (Day by day…)
  My patience slips away
  Go ahead and do what they tell you, it’s clear
  That’s what they want you to do
  “Read your cue cards like a good little boy
   We’ll make you next year’s toy, you follow?
Probably the most disturbing track to readers here would be “There is No More Evil in This World,” a scathing account of a Christian who desires to win the listener over simply by the force of his argument:
    ‘Hear, nor see nor evil speak
    But if you do, pay up, we’ll fix it
    Yes, we know what’s best for you
    So shut up, sit back, and take it!’

   And I don’t know what I did
   To deserve a close encounter with a zealot
   Of the absurd kind…

Other notable tracks include “Firefly” and “Strange Ways,” which again reminds me of Extreme.  The CD as a whole has a slight late 80’s/early 90’s feel, but that should not be seen as a negative comment.  If some enterprising record producer should come across this CD, it could mean the beginning of a career for Mr.Farley.  A superb rookie effort from Yogi.

Brian A. Smith 9/13/2001



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