Don't sleep on them

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Dreadful Yawns have undergone quite a metamorphosis.

For years, the longstanding Cleveland band has been a dependable depot for poppy folk-rock tunes steeped in shoegaze glaze. Having perfected their sophisticated country rock with 2007's sighing, soaring Rest, Ben Gmetro and company returned last year with Take Shape, a record that indeed unveils a band finding a new form.

Peppy pop tunes are now the order of the day, with Gmetro often drowned out (and sometimes completely supplanted) by sprightly new singer Elizabeth Kelly. There's a strong hint of The Velvet Underground at their most melodic, and the music exudes the tried-and-true vibe of merry melodies undercut by melancholy.

Fortunately, the Yawns prove as adept at off-kilter pop as they were at psychedelic roots rock. Take Shape is one of last year's hidden treasures, available for discovery Saturday at Oldfield's on High.

Joining the Yawns on their weekend jaunt through Ohio are local alt-rock maestros Blastronauts, who resemble the ambitious but unrefined pre-Soft Bulletin Flaming Lips, and a unique Athens group called Russenorsk. The trio from down Rte. 33 crafts gorgeous indie-rock power ballads with guitar, cello, drums and just a pinch of technology. Their upcoming album, Comforts, promises to be one of Ohio's finest debuts this year.

What: The Dreadful Yawns

When: Saturday, Jan. 10

Where: Oldfield's on High, Campus