Why is Yolk’s Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side-Effects on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
In which I make the case for this exceptionally talented band from Binghamton, New York.
What does Yolk’s Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side-Effects mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Yolk is an exceptionally talented band that hails from my college town of Binghamton, New York. Even at their peak in popularity they could be considered something of a local band, and so one of the great pleasures of doing this best 1,000 albums ever project is to help spread the word on great bands and artists who absolutely deserve to get heard by more people.
Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side-Effects, the second of Yolk’s three studio albums, represents an advance in sophistication and experimentation versus their self-titled debut (which, spoiler, I have great love for). It also delves deeper into lead singer Jimmy John McCabe’s political leanings.
Some of the experiments work better than others and, in my view, some of the songs could have benefited from being honed down slightly more. Overall though this is a fascinating album that spans a gamut of genres, ranging from funk to metal to alternative rock, with absolutely top notch musicians across the board. Jimmy John’s vocals are also singular.
I really believe that if Yolk had slightly more “mainstream” musical leanings and/or they had gotten a few breaks, songs such as “Dregs” or “Whatever, Fritz” could have gotten heavy airplay on the radio or MTV.
Let’s start with “Dregs,” my favorite song on Social Prescriptions. It’s wild punk carnival music meets ska punk and metal, and absolutely throttles along for its four-plus minutes of running time. It’s also a showcase for how nimble Jimmy John’s vocals are.
It’s really wild how rangy Yolk is, as proven that there’s no other song on the album even a little bit like “Dregs.” And the same goes for the very different sounding “Whatever, Fritz,” a pretty acoustic rock singer songwriter showcase for Jimmy John. Also dig the harmonies – great stuff.
While maybe a hair too long at over six minutes long, “Soulstorm” is a moody funk-metal song of sorts, infused with great percussion throughout.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Yolk’s Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side-Effects
My man Adam and I would see Yolk live as often as we could (which was typically a great and divey local venue called West Side Cheers), as did a bunch of other college students we knew.
Some of the details of this story are a little hazy, but somehow word got passed along that a guy we knew on the periphery of our social circle wound up playing ping pong with Jimmy John McCabe, lead singer of Yolk as noted above. This guy, so overwhelmed by the moment, announced to Jimmy John, “I can’t believe that I’m playing ping pong with the lead singer of Yolk, that so far beyond!”
Adam and I seized on this story with glee. Too much glee, really. I think I had decided that I didn’t like the star of this story for some reason (it’s possible that he had dated an ex-girlfriend of mine before I had, an even vaguer note in my brain asserts), and this passed along anecdote sealed it. Forever more, this guy to us was the Far Beyond Guy, and a case study of things Not To Do lest one tread into the flames of social apocalypse ignominy or some such.
In reality, it’s likely if not probable that Jimmy John was lightly flattered by a college freshman flipping out with glee over the music that he and his band had produced.
Anyway, I think if there’s one thing we can all agreed on, it’s that this best 1,000 albums ever project is absolutely so far beyond.
Some stats & info about Yolk – Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side-Effects
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Funk Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
- When was Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side-Effects released? 1995
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #721 out of 1,000
Yolk’s Caution: Social Prescriptions May Cause Side-Effects on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.