"Any Raw Flesh?" (Wonky Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Although improvements in recording technology over the last few years is making it easier and easier for artists to pursue their musical vision without relying on music conglomerates, it's still hard to find independent releases with good production, good artwork, and good songwriting from top-to-bottom. And I mean that in a spare-no-expense, major label kind of way.

Yogi's "Any Raw Flesh?" isn't merely good - it's damn near phenomenal. While I doubt Yogi's "Any Raw Flesh?" actually had anything close to a big budget, it does give you the sense that Yogi knows what he's doing with the instruments, the recording technology, and making something comprehensive from all the 0s and 1s that create our digital world of music.

"Any Raw Flesh?" has that hard-to-define characteristic of a CD spearheaded by a singular vision, yet still gleefully slices and dices its way to being an exceptional disc. "Any Raw Flesh?" has the tone of King's X, the humor and honesty of Frank Zappa, and the pop sensibilities of Nuno Bettencourt in an engaging mix of song-craft that doesn't forget that songs are just as important as the sound of the music.

It's CDs like "Any Raw Flesh?" that get me really mad at commercial radio. If commercial radio had any guts an artist like Yogi would get airplay constantly as it would appeal to many listeners. However, gentle reader, you and I know that the money-driven radio stations won't give an artist like Yogi a fair shake. As a consequence, I rarely listen to commercial radio - it's CDs like "Any Raw Flesh?" that remind me why I need not listen to commercial radio to hear really great music. 

History has shown that a CD's artwork can either help or hinder a band. Yogi has juxtaposed images in a surreal fashion giving your vision a humorous and frightening sight to go along with the musical ear candy. 

"Any Raw Flesh?" is highly recommended for connoisseurs of melodic music that cuts through convention without losing the listener. "Any Raw Flesh?" is a good combination of music, art, and thematic expression. 

"Any Raw Flesh?" was produced by Yogi and co-produced by Darin DiPietro. 

Yogi is Shawn "Yogi" Farley on all vocals, all guitars, and all synth programming; Chris G. on drums; Bryan Beller on bass. Tobe Ramsey plays bass on "You Fell."

For more information visit http://www.wonky.net

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 15 May 2016 12:32:26 -0400 .