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The Youniverse Ramp It Up on 'Yellow: Aftershock'

Photo Credit: Sam Markus

Hard-edged Delta blues from Eastern Europe.

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Meet Tammy and Jergus, who hail from Slovakia.

Tammy Niznanska provides vocals, while Jergus Oravec plays guitar. After the fall of socialism, they became enamored with America, especially American music. Mesmerized by the Delta blues sound, the pair dropped their debut EP, Raise Hell, Kid, in 2016.

The Youniverse grew to four, adding Simon Vladar (bass, zen) and Adam Olexik (drums). Performing throughout Slovakia and the Czech Republic, in 2017 the band entered the studio to start laying down tracks for their debut LP, entitled CMYK, slated to drop November 30 on Bruuder Records.

The title, CMYK, refers to the four colors utilized in the printing process, as well as the four conceptual divisions of the album. Each concept was given a color because Tammy and Jergus both have synesthesia.

Tammy describes the altering landscape of rock, saying, "Rock n' roll has mostly been about men being rebels with drugs and groupies. But it's 2018. In order for rock music to survive, it's going have to be about girls taking the lead and doing whatever the fuck they want."

"Yellow: Aftershock" opens on a crunching shuffle and trembling colors. Humming synths, barely perceptible, add tension, as Tammy's rough and ready voice drifts between snarling tones and melodic timbres. The electro-bluesy flavor of the melody exudes a raw muscularity, tight and knotted with penetrating energy.

There's a Janis Joplin-feel to the song, grinding and harshly textured at points, while undulating smoothly at other points. The combination is deliciously potent.

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Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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