Yukon Blonde @ Kilby 12.13

Posted December 15, 2011 in
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Upon arriving at one of my favorite venues in Salt Lake I stalked down the freezing alley way passed the blazing bon-fire to stand under the enormous vent inside that spews hot air like Sean Hannity. The guys from Yukon Blonde must have had similar thoughts to mine as their vinyl laden merch table was set up under the same vent. I made small talk with frontman and Hulk Hogan look-a-like Jeffrey Innes as the Kilby-Court-on-a-weeknight-sized crowd meandered in from the cold to watch the show.

Having never heard them before I silently half-expected yet another dorky hipster band shitting all over the stage and calling it “Indie” or worse yet, “Folk-Rock,” but I was wrong. Being from Vancouver they definitely have that trademark sound of the great Northwest; Just as raw as the grunge that preceded it but without the angst, and Big Muff pedals. As they blasted through their amplifiers similar bands that came to mind immediately included Built to Spill and Band of Horses, so much so, that at first listen I thought that they were opening with a cover of Built to Spill’s Sidewalk.

The thing that really set them apart from other indie bands for me was their vocal harmonies—For those of you who have heard Salt Lake locals The Trappers, this is all I could think of to compare them to. Their harmonies rang song after song nearly flawless—a rare trait for a band to have, especially live. At times their harmonies even seemed to flirt with the likes of a country-western sound. They played a relatively short set before melting my face with the greatness of their last song, “Nico Canmore.” I’m not even going to try to describe this song to you, as no words of mine could do it justice so just view it for yourself (http://r3.ca/059Y) and imagine it 10x better live.

The quartet rattled out laughter from the crowd with quirky jokes from their guitarist who looked like he was wearing one of those Groucho Marx mustache disguises that Bugs Bunny would wear. Their 6 song set was over too soon before leaving the stage to The Fling, a four-piece from Long Beach. Really, after watching Yukon Blonde The Fling just seemed like four guys with mustaches. They were good, but not nearly as good as Yukon Blonde.

The four-piece from Vancouver stopped in Salt Lake on the return leg of their 60+ date tour of North America and shouldn’t be expected back anytime in the near future as they gear up for an international tour to begin early next year. So check out their newest album Fire/Water and be the first and hippest one of your gang to drop their name.