Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)
ABOVE THE CURRENT
Yves Tumor spent the last four albums shapeshifting from ambient producer to eclectic experimentalist to psych-rock sex god; at this point, anything they put out would have felt like a surprise. For once, though, their latest—Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)—refines, but does not reinvent. Like Safe in the Hands of Love, it has industrial grit. Like Heaven to a Tortured Mind, it rocks. Like each release, it finds Yves Tumor indulging their penchant for boundary-agnostic pop, this time with the help of high-power producer Noah Goldstein (whose 2022 credits alone include records by Rosalía and Denzel Curry).
Hot Between Worlds strips back some of the last LP’s retro glam flashiness, but it still oozes style. “God Is a Circle” literally breathes life into a crunchy kick-snare beat with some harried, rhythmic panting. Blown-out guitar surges through “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood” like electricity through a red-hot wire, complemented by crackling, high-voltage samples. “Ebony Eye” packs a sonic sucker punch, winding up with a far-off, muted drum fill before walloping you over the head with strings—it hits like the implosion before a nuclear blast, and it sets off a triumphant peak to rival “Gospel for a New Century” in grandeur.
With the exception of one out-of-place instrumental sample flip (“Purified by the Fire”), this outing also offers Yves Tumor’s most substantial collection of songs. One of the record’s most memorable tracks is the most understated: the super-catchy, acoustic guitar–driven rock ballad “Meteora Blues,” with a full-band buildup that drifts off into angelic choral harmonies. That gives way to the wounded, falsetto-led “Parody,” a slow jam that flirts with the idea of losing oneself in pop star image-making. It’s not confessional, per se (more power to Tumor for continuing to guard their private life), but it’s one of a few unexpected moments of vulnerability, toying with the rules of where an Yves Tumor song can go, emotionally.
Maybe I just have the image of Tumor tied down in the “Echolalia” video branded into my mind, but I visualize the artist writhing playfully against the restraints of their craft and persona, sliding in and out as they see fit; they somehow always sound just on the verge of breaking out to a bigger stage. Praise a Lord Who Chews may not burn as bright as Heaven to a Tortured Mind (it lacks a runaway single), but it has the depth to burn hotter for longer. I’m not saying that’s a guarantee, but I’d love it if we could stop entertaining Harry Styles or Måneskin as claimants to the future of rock.