Inspired by the fact that this band is now touring again after years of silence as detailed in the news section, I went back to rediscover some of the chaotic charm of this oft overlooked group. The group started as a cultish following of Father Yod who would later be known as Yahowa. Yod assumed a godlike status for himself and drew followers around the Laurel Canyon area of California, operating out of his health food restaurant in the area. There's a good break down of the albums and some back story culled from a Byron Coley piece on them in Wire, HERE.

Ya Ho Wa 13 - I'm Gonna Take You Home
The band released several albums, most of which have been collected in the God and Hair Box set put together by sometime member and collaborator Sky Saxon of The Seeds. The core group was always
the same Djin Aquarian on guitar, Octavious Aquarian on drums, Sunflower Aquarian on bass with the addition of any number of players from the "family". Yod was prone to playing a large drum and leading the tempo of the jams which with his inclusion were always unrehearsed with no overdubs. This album was recorded in '74 and is probably my favorite of the bunch. All untitled but with a great emphasis on the guitar and a throbbing rhythm culminating in two longer pieces that have improvised lyrics in a talk-sing fashion by Yod. This is Ya Ho Wa at its best, although the most popular album seems to be Penetration which was recorded around this same time.

[MP3] Ya Ho Wa 13 - One
[MP3] Ya Ho Wa 13 - Three

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

Ya Ho Wa 13 - Savage Sons of Ya Ho Wa
The most "album-like" of any of the releases. This is a blues punk gem that sometimes goes the sinister ways of Beefhart and then at times really echoes the Laurel Canyon influences that the group seemed to
be in the midst of; bits of Neil Young and The Band spring to mind. Some of the band's releases are so disparate that its often hard to believe that the same group of people produced them all. This, in comparison with Penetration or some of the groups more hippie oriented chanting seems to be the work of unfocused yet very talented people. Shortly after this album was recorded Yod sold the Source health food shop and tried to pull up roots and move the group to Hawaii in search of paradise. They were turned away at first due to Yod's somewhat pluralist tendencies but were able to gain a place to build their community on another return. Yod passed away after a hang gliding accident in '75 but the members of the core band remain and are now in the process of preparing a tour which should be very interesting indeed.

[MP3] Ya Ho Wa 13 - Fire In The Sky
[MP3] Ya Ho Wa 13 - Red River Valley

Support the artist. Buy it HERE Only available as part of the God and Hair box set right now. Some other physical releases are available here too.
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posted by dissensous at 9:28:00 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting stuff man. Garage rock with a bit of a country-esque twist a la Neil Young. I like it.

We haven't had a dose of straight-up fuzz-drenched, four-teenagers-with-guitars garage rock in a while. Can we get some next week?

7:54 PM  
Blogger Jason P. Woodbury said...

Very fascinating stuff, man!

Thanks for sharing.

Any thoughts on the Trees Community, and their early 70's weird spiritual-art-mind-fuck "The Christ Tree"?

Check it:

1:05 AM  

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