Yowie

9 p.m. Friday, June 12. Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Avenue.

After more than four years in the wilderness, Yowie has returned. Various personal problems that are really none of our business broke up the group, but it seems the rift has been healed — and for that minor miracle, we're all richer. The two-guitar (Jeremiah Wonsewitz and Jim Hagerty), one-drummer (Shawn O'Connor) beast isn't something to be dismissed lightly. In fact, it's the kind of band St. Louis deserves: one of intelligent, defiant musicians committed to the idea of writing original music that demands attention paid — to actively be a part of what they're playing instead of talking or texting or fingering your anus. Yowie's instrumentals are mid-size epics powered by heavy mathematics — time signatures come with decimal points, O'Connor's off-kilter drumming should come with a motion-sickness warning, and the guitar team of Wonsewitz and Hagerty fillet clusters of notes to paper-thin curls. And as if Yowie's unexpected return weren't enough, the group has new material ready to play, which means that the followup to its debut, Cryptooogy, is hopefully imminent. But even if that never happens, the chance to see the three of them stop mid-note and simultaneously launch into a completely different riff-structure without making eye contact with one another — only to shed that structure for something else, and then do it all over again in the space of 43 seconds — will be reward enough.

 
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