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Yowie Cryptooology album cover
3.23 | 20 ratings | 8 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Trina (2:43)
2. Tamika (2:38)
3. Tara (6:21)
4. Tenesha (3:25)
5. Toni (4:57)
6. Towanda (4:23)
7. Talisha (5:29)

Total Time: 29:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Jeremiah Wontsewitz / guitar
- Jimbo / guitar
- Defenestrator / drums

Releases information

CD Skin Graft Records GR74CD (US 2004)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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YOWIE Cryptooology ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

YOWIE Cryptooology reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Another one of these incredibly and uselessly complicated "RIO", destructuring, deconstructing, destroying, dismantling, scattering, blowing to pieces senselessly their music (that seems rather easy) but yet seeming unable to reconstruct it in any valid form (which is obviously not as easy) for the listeners. I will not try to judge (let alone understand) too hard what Yowie's concept of music: this is way beyond the boundaries of my patience and my taste for adventurous music. Whether Yowie heard what The Flying Luttenbacher or Hella is unknown to me, but their musical diarrhea has much the same effect to this writer's poor tolerance for extra-obtuse music. No doubt the artist in this group or in TFL spent much time and effort in their artistic research, and it must be frustrating for them to see it all wasted on such a feeble mind as mine.

Let's just say that I didn't get Yowie's intended goal and lack total interest in trying to find out. In the meantime, my loyal readership is warned.

Review by FruMp
4 stars This is utter chaos, it takes math rock up to a whole new level, it's almost impenetrable cacophanous noise - make no mistake this is certainly not for the faint of heart or the weak of will, there is barely a tangible riff or recurring sequence to hold on to and when one does come along it get's quickly obliterrated by jazz blasting and discordant mess.

I actually quite enjoy this album to be honest, I find it hilarious, it's so silly, I just picture a bunch of nerdy math rock fans who became good at their instruments (the drumming is actually really good if you listen well) with severe ADHD cranking out this monstosity in their garage and then I look at the cover with a yowie beast battling some kind of pteradactyl like fiend to the death, the music almost invokes the same kind of aesthetic from the cartoon show 'rocko's modern life' from my childhood only perverted beyond recognition.

I don't really know what I think of this album to be honest, it is certainly a joke and to me it's a funny one, it's very hard to recommend this though, I can only stomach a few tracks a week - it's tougher to digest than a lot of grindcore and brutal detah metal but when I'm in the mood for utter chaos and silliness it suits perfectly.

You know what I'm going to give this 4 stars, it's extremely ambitious and it does entertain if you are open to it and that's all you could really ask of it. I'd recommend this only to the very adventurous and open minded.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Cryptooology" is the debut full-length studio album by US, St. Louis, Missouri based experimental rock act Yowie. The album was released through Skin Graft Records in 2004. Yowie formed in 2000 and after signing to Skin Graft Records in 2001 spend the next 3 years writing the material for "Cryptooology".

Therefore it may baffle some listeners that "Cryptooology" only features 29:57 minutes of music, but the 7 tracks on the album are of the kind that features so many different parts, rhythm changes, time signatures, and just unconventional compositional structures and playing, that 29:57 minutes are probably more than enough for most listeners.

Yowie is an instrumental power trio featuring two guitarists and a drummer. Their music is deliberately composed without any form of recognisable melody and the song structures are hard to follow. This is totally over the top and dissonant instrumental math rock/avant garde rock with rhythm/time signature changes every second and a total disregard for hooks of any kind ( at least to these ears). I think of bands like Collapsar and Dysrhythmia but itīs important that I emphasize that those bands after all have recognisable elements in their crazy musical exploits while Yowie seem to search for the ultimative dissonant and complex version of the genre.

All seven tracks on the album have female names (starting with T) as titles but Iīm not sure I would be flattered if I was a woman and someone named one of these weird sounding songs after me (or maybe Iīm getting this wrong, and "Cryptooology" is actually an ode to the complexity of women...hmm thereīs a thought). When all these rather negative opinions and descriptions of the bandīs music have been said, there is some twisted and perverted part of me that takes some kind of pleasure in "Cryptooology" and it is hard not at least to some degree to acknowledge the outstanding musicianship, the visionary approach to songwriting, and the adventurous choice of notes. This is in other words very much an aquired taste but Iīm sure that thereīs an audience for this kind of music out there (albeit a very small one).

The production is a bit garage low-fi sounding but it suits the music well. Upon conclusion "Cryptooology" is an interesting album from a musicianīs perspective as your ears are challenged with unorthodox playing, choice of notes, and unconventional song structures, but to my ears this sounds more like a crazy sonic experiement than any cohesive form of musical expression, and I think very few people would listen to this the way most people listen to music for hooks or anything resembling memorability. So points for creativity, but no points for trying to write music that few outside the band would probably enjoy (yeah I know Iīm pressuming a lot, but I stand by my point that not many people will find listening pleasure here, if they arenīt a musicians themselves looking for a challenge). A 2 star (40%) rating.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Cryptooology' - Yowie (6/10)

Yowie offer me an interesting opportunity, as a listener and critic alike. While most artists and albums will tend to strike me one way or the other, these math rock partisans have concocted something that continues to leave me baffled. First impressions and conventional music standards might deem the dissonant, unfurnished sound repulsive, but upon closer inspection, there's a brilliance and calculation to Yowie that may elude all but the more persistent listeners. With that in mind, for all of the praise I may give Yowie and "Cryptooology", any recommendation should come with a warning: this is not a musical taste for the faint of heart or easily unimpressed. Love or hatred of their perpetual dissonance and chaotic form regardless, there is method and meticulous thought behind this breakdown of rock tradition, and that alone should make it a worthy venture for the more adventurous listeners out there.

If some of the other things written about it in the past are any indicator, "Cryptooology" has become something of a bogeyman in the rock underground, with many of the album's greatest supporters still openly admitting to the challenge the music presents. More impressive still is that Yowie have been able to spark this controversy with nothing more than the accepted 'minimum' for rock music: two guitars and a drumkit. There's not a single audible effect or particularly colourful guitar tone used here; the drums and clean electric twang sound as if the instruments have been spared a moment's tweaking or embellishment. Many musicians would never seek to ascend to such heights of strangeness without a hint of effects, and it's that deviation from the norm that partly earns Yowie such uniqueness to their sound and style.

Of course, the hard part comes with describing Yowie's approach to composition itself, which does not lend itself too well to traditional analysis. Although there is a noted repetition of some ideas, the flood of dissonant chords, furiously calculated drum bursts and creeping harmonics tends to flow at a similar pace throughout the album, robbing the tracks of any perceivable uniqueness from one another. Most of the time, one guitar will provide a barrage of ugly chords while the other adds a more varied sense of twang and eerie sonic experimentation, the likes of which I might only liken to the way rain might sound hitting a windowpane in the middle of a chthonic nightmare. At the end of the day, Defenestrator's drumwork is left to hold it all together. While the constantly shifting rhythmic pattern seems to lay down a framework for the other instruments to explore at will, even the drums are immensely unforgiving to the inattentive listener. There are times here when the drums sound like they're presenting a warped rendition of jazz, and others where the calculated oppression reminds me of death metal.

Somewhat contrary to the greater focus of its successor "Damning With Faint Praise", "Cryptooology" finds Yowie at a time where they may be too chaotic for their own good. I'll take a good musical challenge any day over something tried and true, but this album doesn't get much easier with experience. In spite of the evident precision and predetermined nature of this supposed chaos, it's difficult to pick out any idea on its own. "Cryptooology" flows as one a single primordial entity, swirling and consuming all in its path. While it's bound to leave a strong first impression (whether it's a good or bad impression is up to the listener) but the album sorely feels the lack of dynamic. Even the most challenging outsider art should offer some respite along the way; otherwise, listeners become desensitized somewhere along the way. Yowie's style is plainly weird and challenging enough to keep a listener engaged far longer than its brief half-hour spin, but I can't help but feel that the album might have benefitted from a respite somewhere along the way. Past that, it's up for each individual listener to decide for themselves. One thing's for certain, however: do not expect to be underwhelmed.

Latest members reviews

4 stars (This is my first review, and this is one of the most underrated albums I've ever heard, that also happens to be on this site, so forgive the slightly long review, this album deserves a crowd on its side). 4 stars. If you have the energy and focus to give to this kind of music, it will likely b ... (read more)

Report this review (#300037) | Posted by kifo | Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I first heard this record, It came in my mind at once, perfectly clear, the meaning of it all. This guys took Killing Time by Massacre (Fred Frith, Bill Laswell and Fred Maher) - especially the amazing Legs, a masterpiece deconstruction of the skeleton of rock'n'roll - and expanded in every ... (read more)

Report this review (#182777) | Posted by Hox | Thursday, September 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: B The phrase "off the wall" takes on a new meaning when applied to the modern band Yowie. They only have one release so far, the short (under thirty minutes total) Cryptooology, but what a release it is. As one review I read said, it almost feels like the zanier moments of Captain Beefh ... (read more)

Report this review (#163498) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Warning aquired taste. Thtas pretty much what should have been on the fron tcover of this album. Its Sparatic Math rock, broken guitar sounding Avant Garde music is one to scare, and....annoy possibly. Personally if you are a fan of Math Rock and just plain outright wakyness in instrument pla ... (read more)

Report this review (#127842) | Posted by fungusucantkill | Sunday, July 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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