Mike Scheidt – Stay Awake

January 01, 1970

(Thrill Jockey)




The name Mike Scheidt is certainly
one well-known amongst fans of doom metal as the frontman for one of the
sub-genre’s most talented and underrated acts, YOB. And on the hardcore scene
in the mid-Williamette Valley area of his native Oregon, he’s maintained a prominent role
playing with an assortment of local acts since he was a kid.


Yet in spite of all his
entrenchment within the din of such aggressive forms of music, the heavy
presence of hippie culture in the Eugene region where Scheidt grew up, with Ken
Kesey’s Oregon County Fair down the road and Rainbow Family gatherings taking
place right near his home, no doubt left an alternate effect on his creative
mind as well. And being exposed to the vicinity of pacifistic pools of communal
bliss with their placid jam circles and baked campfire singalongs definitely
seems to have rubbed off in some kind of creative capacity when you listen to
Scheidt’s solo debut for Thrill Jockey, Stay Awake. Taking guitar
lessons from Zoot Horn Rollo of Captain
Beefheart’s Magic Band and learning how to fingerpick along to his favorite Guy
Clark and Townes Van Zandt records while working at the neighborhood guitar
shop didn’t seem to hurt either, it seems. And all of these attributes can be
heard in the strength of Scheidt’s placid, mesmerizing songwriting on Awake,
especially on such choice material as “When Time Forgets Time” and
the 12-minute John Fahey-meets-Nick Drake quietude of closing track


is a calm, passionate album miles away from the dirge of YOB, echoing the
lucidity of his homeland’s creeks and forests, bringing together elements of
Eastern and Western folk like David Crosby trading in Topanga Canyon for the
Dead Sea.


DOWNLOAD: “When Time Forgets Time,” “Breathe” RON HART



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