Yours & Mine Debut Live @ Black Bear Bar

Yours & Mine

Last week, I ventured out of my home in Queens on a Sunday and made my way by bus deep into Williamsburg. I went for a show at Black Bear Bar, a hip spot that’s one quarter skate park, one quarter bar, and one half sparse, dark, loud punk club.

There were a lot of great bands on the bill: the disco- and funk-tinged pop punk of Rhode Island based Royal Street; the melodic, vocal-driven indie punk of American Pinup from up the river a bit in Nyack; the shoegaze-y prog of Yonkers rockers And The Traveler; and Understudy, with their aggressive brand of alternative post-punk which could only come from NYC.

All of these bands were great and I thoroughly enjoyed their performances. But I hadn’t made such a trek to see them. I went for one reason and one reason only. I went for the band that opened the show. I went for Yours & Mine.

Yours & Mine Live Debut

Yours & Mine — Greg on guitar and vocals, Wil on guitar, Kris on bass, and Dan on drums — is a brand new group, not even four months old. Last Sunday’s gig at Black Bear Bar was their live debut. I got my bead on them so quick because Greg also fronts These Animals, another NYC-based outfit which I’m quite fond of.

If you’re familiar with These Animals, you’ll find Yours & Mine to be quite different. Greg has increased the volume, crafting tunes for Yours & Mine that are filled with vigor and intensity compared to the bittersweet shoegaze contemplation of These Animals. Not better, per se, but definitely different.

Yours & Mine opened their set with “Give Me A Reason.” Lead by a measured rock and roll rhythm, verses are dominated by fuzzy chords and fuzzy vocals. The choruses soar in a way that’s reminiscent of the arena rock acts of the mid-90s, groups like Oasis or early Radiohead.

Driving drums and atmospheric plucked guitar chords dominate the next track, “Before the War,” a sort of catchall anti-war song that reeks of influence from The Smiths and REM. Dan’s drumming really got to shine in the breakdown. Greg’s vocals are clear and ringing throughout.

Next up was “Ear to the Ground,” a surprisingly intricate song. Greg put some heavy distortion on his vocals, allowing the guitar playing — his own and Wil’s, both playing Rickenbacker 300 Series — to shine.

Yours & Mine live

“Days and Nights,” despite bright picked guitar and Kris’ bubbling bass, is heavy with the memories of bad times, lived through but not without leaving their marks. Dan’s drumming shines again, showing off some intricate floor tom work, and Greg’s voice is deeply reminiscent of ‘90s alternative, namely the woeful vocals of Toad the Wet Sprocket.

In contrast, “Everyday Eyes” was peppy and upbeat in all ways. It was also possibly the heaviest song of the set. Dan and Kris laid down a fast, hard, classic punk rhythm, over which Greg and Wil swapped guitar parts steeped in surf rock.

“Ever-Present Kind,” is a beautiful love song dripping with hopefulness and optimism. I could even call it ebullient. Driven by steady drums and jangly guitars, “Ever-Present Kind” is a diverse song that shows off a world of influences — notably, if you threw in some synth it could pass as a Modern English song.

Yours & Mind wrapped up their set with “One Plus None.” Greg delivers the vocals with a unique cadence, and they sit in a cloud of reverby guitar. The group throw in touches of pop, grunge, alt, punk, and just about everything else, before throwing caution to the wind and closing the tune in a flurry of crashing cymbals, screeching guitar, and the increasingly emotive chant of “I’m dead wrong.”

Rich in Influences

I exited Black Bear Bar the end of the show, into the cold early-spring air of New York City, and walked to the bus stop with a pep in my step that wasn’t there when I arrived because I had just seen something wonderful.

I had seen Yours & Mine prove, in practice, what every great artist working in any medium innately knows, that you cannot make good new art without acknowledging the art that has come before.

I had seen a young band of four intensely talented musicians look to the past, pick their favorite bits, amalgamate them, change them, update them, and create something completely, entirely, perfectly new.

That’s something rare and valuable. And I loved it.

Yours & Mine are working hard at polishing their tunes for release — keep an eye on the Yours & Mine facebook page, and here on IBG, for updates.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.