Unedited heart. Karo-covered vocals. A guitar that bites, a partner that's content to twinkle. In all of its gooey glory, Yearling's debut full-length, The View From Here, could be considered a post-emo guitar rock rubric. At the least, it's a proud monument to a genre that's markedly now.
As such, the influences here aren't difficult to parse. There's an almost cinematic, Deep Elm Records melodrama to tracks like the album-closing experiment "All of You and Me," all vocoders and reversed guitars, or the eight-minute, piano-plus-pillage rock burner "Atlantis." Elsewhere, glimpses of Knapsack's This Conversation Is Ending... push the tempo and add an over-arching insistence and urgency to songs like the galloping "Picturesque." When Yearling pairs this pound with their developed sense of clean guitar interplay later in the song (a move à la emo juggernauts Jimmy Eat World), they're at their strongest and most precise.
Meanwhile, an overt pop sensibility creeps in through every chorus thanks to late-era Get Up Kids, or hours spent with late-'90s p-punk records like Nothing Gold Can Stay or Through Being Cool. Yearling's sweet tooth for the pop side can be a bit much to take when paired with lyrical missteps. On "Picture Prose," frontman Sid Menon repeatedly coos the words "Bearing so much indiscretion in disguise" as the song politely sees itself out. For a second, the bouncing ball melody matters more than the slightly clumsy, heard-it-before parallelism, but, ultimately, such sentiment lands sour.
Chalk it up to tentative first steps, but moments like this litter the whole of The View From Here: Damning generic trappings (overreaching, overwrought lyrics, the predictable halftime nod, etc.) too often hold a solid song back from greatness. Or at least goodness. Even so, with a little editing, Yearling's sweet heart could go a long way.