Yahowha 13
To The Principles For The Children

Released 1975 on Higher Key
Reviewed by john, 24/07/2000ce

To the Principles for the Children was the last Yahowha album to feature Father Yod, and, along with their two previous albums, Penetration and I'm Gonna Take You Home, drives home to those listening that Yahowha 13 were one of the most righteous kick-ass American psycedelic bands of all time. Such was their intensity that they were totally ignored during their brief life time and are only now begining to make their pressence felt.
The album begins with Yahowha 13's most rockin' track they ever recorded, an ode to womanhood that is a quite impressive album-opener. Father Yod comes on like he's Elvis Presely's long-lost psychedelic step-brother, grabbing the mic with the intensity of a god. The bass and drums are low in the mix, pumping out a tribal groove. By the time the song is nearing the end, Yod is just drooling his words out, spilling them all over the listener, drenching the listener with his sweat. If you thought Dinger's vocal in "Hero" was out there, you need to hear the final minute of this.
Then a cut to one of Yahowha 13's more beautiful moments. This song, along with the ending of side one on Expansion, show that Yahowha 13 were much more than just a psychedelic freak out band; they were equally capable of moments of great beauty. "I can be subtle" Father Yod sings, in stark contrast to the insane frenzy he had worked himself up to on the previous song. Djin Aquarian plays his guitar all fuckin' loose and spacious and heavy on the reverb. (A fantastic guitarist, Djin is the American Manuel Gottsching (sp). I can think of no other guitarist who is able to create such cosmic bliss with his instrument.)
Father Yod's voice is way up in the mix, as is typical for most Yahowha releases. "I have come to show you the way" he sings, becomming a direct medium for a higher force. Moments like this make the listener wonder if there is some truth to Yod's claims of being God, or if he is simply insane. Granted, when he's out there like this, Yod's vocal delivery takes some getting used to; the first few times may seem like too much, but once you get into it, Yod's rants will start to make sense.
Right when Yod is really going overboard, i.e. right when you begin to wonder if you are hearing the second comming, the drums kick in and Djin plays a totally kicking riff while Father starts chanting "God Bless America" over and over. Yahowha 13 can really only be compared with German Kraut, but throughout it all, they still managed to keep their vibe 100% American. If you are a U.S. citizen like me, Yod might even start making you feel a little patriotic!
The side ends with Yod singing "Now I'm ready to die for I know why I am here" These words, like much of what Yod sings, would prove to be prophetic as later in the year Yod would die from a hangliding accident.
Side two starts with Father Yod singing really nice. It is times like this that make my previous Elvis Presely comparison valid. Like Elvis, Yod could express a wide range of emotion in his voice. True, Yod usally chose to scream as loud as he can, but when he does actually sing it is really quite beautiful and silky.
Out of nowhere, a broken trumpet plays an out of tune riff and the band begins one of their most holey burn-outs, simular to what they acheived on Penetration. "Awaken Awaken" Father Yod commands, as Djin's guitar gets all echoed, filling the speakers with cosmic glamness. Yod gives out one of his trademark cowboy yelps while Octavious pounds a steady rhythm and Sunflower, their bassist, stays low. Meanwhile Djin uses his guitar to ejaculate all over himself, burning the listener with raw sexuality.
Right when the speakers start to melt, the track cuts to the sound of children singing "Oh Yahowha we love you." Weird but cute. Yahowha 13 was basically a cult/commune type of thing, and here are the kids singing praise to their lord. The good news is that unlike some cults, mass suicide wasn't on the agenda. Instead, these guys were quite content with finding their iner God by freaking out.
The only problem with this album is that it's pretty short - under 28 minutes. In fact, aside from Penetration and I'm Gonna Take You Home, almost all the Yahowha recordings are on the skimpy side. Oh well, as Yod explains at the begining of this disc, "I mean, it can't be perfect, can it?" No, but it can be damn fucking close.

Reviews Index