Bug On Yonkers is the new album from John Dwyer’s (Oh Sees) Damaged Bug moniker and it quite possibly may be the best listen in their catalog. The even more interesting thing about this album is that it is a set of covers from Michael Yonkers. Michael Yonkers? Yeah, that was my first question as well. Who is Michael Yonkers?
Michael Yonkers is a 73 year old American rock musician from Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work has been praised for its groundbreaking and extremely innovative style which includes noise and drone guitar techniques. Now you are starting to realize why Dwyer is such a fan. Lucky for us, he brings along Tom Dolas, Nick Murray, and Brigid Dawson as his band to cover these tracks and selected some of the tunes from Yonkers he has enjoyed over the years.
What is great about his selection of songs here is not only the introduction to the artist but Dwyer doesn’t change them that much. They definitely are more hi-fi and have that spastic explosion, which can only come from the frontman, but also including the elegant voice of Dawson on several songs just takes the record to a whole new level. The electronics are strategically launched, the psychedelic runs will catch your ear and if you didn’t know any different, you would think all nine songs here are Damaged Bug originals.
I expected Bug On Yonkers to be way out there but instead it is a fantastic listen that sounds even better after a couple spins. It captures the magic of Yonkers and highlights how sometimes music truly is ahead of its time. His catalog that ran from the late sixties through the seventies is worth going back and taking for a spin which is the power of a solid covers record – You want to here more of the originals! John Dwyer continues to impress with his eclectic taste and progressive output. He certainly never cuts the same record twice and Bug On Yonkers is a great window into his brain that gives us all a few more answers on where he is today!
Key Tracks: “I Tried” / “Microminiature Love” / “Smile A While”
Artists With Similar Fire: The Troggs / Thee Oh Sees / Pere Ubu
– Reviewed by Christopher Anthony