Though Yikes have devoted much of the past year to playing live sets out of their home base of Tallahassee, the four-piece have been recording and finding their footing fast, and finally people outside the peninsula have the chance to hear the fruits of their labor (or, ahem, the meats). The four-piece are set to release a split with Tallahassee bedroom pop darlings Naps next week, entitled The Most Beautiful Place on Earth / Commercial Music. Yikes’ is the irreverent latter side of the tape. Taken with the jokey name for the first single they’re sharing, they give the impression they don’t want to get too serious on us.
Actually hearing them play, then, is doubly heartbreaking—Yikes have a gift for making a picture of an angel eating a “specialty pile of meat” seem like the last thing you’d want to see before you die. The Americana twang of soft delayed guitars at the outset of the song is wrenching against Reid Stockett and Matt Sampson’s low dual vocals, and the slow, assured melody feels like an invitation home. But it’s the classic scenario of getting home and finding that everything’s changed since you left—they raise the question of wanting and no longer knowing what you want. “You had a Sega Genesis but you come home and your dad had pawned it,” they sing, injecting desperation into something so benign, then everything breaks loose. There’s the recurring question, “Don’t you want it?” Yikes do a good job convincing us that maybe we do.