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About Yolk

From the moment of their inception in upstate New York in the early '90s, Yolk's sound always delivered a harder edge than their jam band peers. After recording three self-released albums, various lineup changes spelled the end of the band as a full-time entity. Yolk was founded in 1992 as a result of the stagnancy of the music scene at SUNY Binghamton, where the band attended school. The septet's blend of sinewy rock melodies, jazzy horn charts, propulsive funk rhythms, and politically charged lyrics sent the music in a direction that would be explored by bands like Rage Against the Machine. Yolk's sound also provided accidental hints of the rap-metal craze of the late '90s. The band's first disc, a self-titled release put out in late 1993, featured the least political of vocalist Jimmy John McCabe's lyrics, pursuing poetic imagery with songs like "So This Is Heaven." The band's chugging rhythms were diverse, yet unified. The follow-up, Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side Effects found the band playing with a harder sound. Increasingly, McCabe's lyrics delved into the same social consciousness delivered by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder: stories of individuals in great turmoil. With the departure of drummer Matt Murphy and tenor sax player Adam Ash, the band recruited former Moe drummer Jim Loughlin (whose fiery work fit perfectly in with his new band) to replace Andrew Bellavia of Third Rail to replace Ash. They were soon back in the studio, recording what was to be their final studio album, Individually Twisted. The disc was easily the most well-produced the band had created to date and pointed optimistically towards the band's future. The band toured constantly, mostly in the northeast, including a successful stint on a Rock the Vote mini-tour in autumn 1996 with fellow jam bands Moe, Moon Boot Lover, and the Ominous Seapods that featured a good deal of cross-pollination between bands. Soon, though, McCabe announced his departure. He would be replaced by two vocalists: Brian Burrell of Born Leaders Anonymous and singer/songwriter Cris Noel. After several weeks of rehearsal, Noel and Loughlin split with the group. Loughlin was replaced by original drummer Matt Murphy. Soon, guitarist Pete Carvelas decided to depart, leaving the band a shambles of what it once was. By the beginning of 1998, Burrell was gone as well and McCabe was back in his role as the group's frontman. After that, the band went on semi-permanent hiatus, playing out under the name Yolk from time to time in various configurations. ~ Jesse Jarnow