Roley Yuma came together in the summer of 2009 in Dayton, Ohio. Born from some budding recording projects, Randy, Tyler, Kevin and Aaron decided to combine forces and try to do something unique and different in the Dayton area. The four decided to rent a dump of a house in a dump of a neighborhood together and get to work. The band's music began to take shape: winding guitars, driving rhythms from the drums and bass, Cornett's powerful vocals, and sprinkled with organs and keys. With new songs in hand, the band set out to make some waves in the city. After only a few months playing in town, Roley Yuma was offered the chance to be the artist in residence at South Park Tavern for a month in early 2010. As momentum began to build, the band entered the studio that summer to record their debut album "Sun Tea." The record was met with great reception from fans, bloggers, and critics who caught wind. "With guitar work ranging from jangle to droney, they create near-perfect backdrops for the exceptionally literate lyricism of Cornett," writes one reviewer.
Since "Sun Tea," Roley Yuma has been hard at work, writing and refining their craft, playing frequently in Dayton as well as branching out into the surrounding cities. They have also appeared twice in the Dayton Music Festival. In 2011the band released a live EP recorded at Dayton mainstay Blind Bob's. Currently Roley Yuma have just finished a new EP, due out in June on Gas Daddy Go Records. They look forward to hitting the road this summer and fall and getting back to work on the next LP.
Aaron Hardy - Vocals, Drums
Tyler McKinley - Vocals, Guitar, keys
Christian Roerig - Vocals, Bass Guitar
Randy Cornett - Vocals, Guitar
"Sun Tea" (2010)
"Live at Blind Bob's" (2011)
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According to conventional wisdom, the rise of digital music and portable MP3 players has soured 20-s...According to conventional wisdom, the rise of digital music and portable MP3 players has soured 20-somethings on listening to entire albums. That concept is lost on the members of Roley Yuma, who range in age from 19 to 23.
"Sun Tea" - the debut from Randy Cornett (vocals, guitar), Tyler McKinley (guitar), Kevin Hamilton (bass) and Aaron Hardy (drums) - flows more like an extended musical piece than simply a collection of songs.
"I think there's still value in making a full album," McKinley said. "It's still valued in the independent music community. And it's nice to have the physical package with the cover and being able to read the song titles and credits."
"Sun Tea," which gets its official release at Blind Bob's on Friday, Sept. 24, was recorded between March and July by Brian Whitten at Center City Studios. Whitten captured the sound and spirit of a young group gleefully exploring new musical directions.
Roley Yuma has a tendency for longer songs, often breaking away from established verses for an unexpected bridge or a spot of guitarmanship. The group pushes it further on "Polyglot Palindromes, the album's nearly 11-minute long centerpiece.
"A lot of people said it wasn't a good idea to put an 11-minute song in the middle of the album," Hamilton said. "We didn't care. It's our album so we'll do what we want."
"We feel like that song transitions to the last half of the album," Cornett said.
"The first half is mainly the first songs we wrote together," Hamilton said. "That song is just like an intermission for the second half, which is newer songs so it's really fresh."
While the songs are sequenced based on age, it's clear from the smooth transitions from track to track that the members of Roley Yuma put a great deal of thought into the album's running order.
"Song selection was very important to us," Cornett said. "Everything flows into each other at one point or the other."
"It's not like this is all we have," McKinley said. "These are the songs we selected for this CD."
For a group that has only been together a year, Roley Yuma has established itself as a fresh musical voice on the local scene and people are starting to pay attention.
"This is the first time in my life I've done something people are actually taking an interest in," Cornett said. "I've tried to do so many things, like writing and drawing and other things, and now it's working. It's flattering."
Review- Roley Yuma's "Sun Tea"
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Quickly bustling open with "Native America," Dayton, Ohio's Roley Yuma comes off as a brash hardcore...Quickly bustling open with "Native America," Dayton, Ohio's Roley Yuma comes off as a brash hardcore act that, without looking at the other song lengths, keeps it short and sweet. That is nothing but a mistake of an assumption. While Sun Tea opens in a hurry, it spends most of its time drifting from clean, Minus The Bear infected sections to rockin' and rollin' numbers like the eponymous "Sun Tea." A bit bi-polar in its approach, this particular brand of noise rock is infectious and confusing at the same time.
As "King Shit" comes in, the heavier side of Roley continues to tumble about with a psychedelic bridge to pop some pills and trip out to. But then "Hollowed Out To Float" comes in with clean guitar lines, as does and "Crossville, TN 1987," and a totally un-punk 5 minute song length. The slow tempo, the clean vocal lines, and the absence of any aggression are all a bit of a mood upset, but as things continue through "Approved Music" and "Polyglot Palindromes." The latter winds through 10 minutes of ups and downs, some syncopation, a trip-y noise section, and a huge, elongated build up reminiscent of a number of post-rock bands.
The noise/punk/indie continues on the second half of the record without fail, but keeps you on your toes, nonetheless. The angelic organ opening closer "Heavenly Hollow" gives a solid backbone to the song as it drifts the album off into the sunset. It's an interesting combination, to say the least.
Where Roley Yuma fails, though, is highlighted in the acoustic track "Sucked Off By A Sunbeam." Put bluntly, the singer can't sing. For the life of him. With all gruffness gone, there is a huge pitch problem the entire song that makes several cats clawing my eyes out sound more appealing. Reaching back to "Native America," the distinct melodic dichotomy of the two deserves a two fold criticism: First, credit is due for covering such a diverse spectrum of music throughout, but secondly that there is something to be said about doing what you are good at. For the record, that isn't singing soft songs like "Sucked Off By A Sunbeam." Luckily the final two tracks take back the thunder and drive home Sun Tea with a cooler dose of musicianship and some tripy stuff near the end of "The Good Book."
As quirky as the album is, Roley Yuma's Sun Tea is a worthwhile listen. It twists and turns more than a highway exit ramp and really wraps up a wide variety of influences into a neat little bundle of joy. Definitely a young and bold band with a lot of potential to use up.
Bands to Watch
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Roley Yuma Formed: 2009 Style: Indie/Alt/Rock Members: Randy Cornett / Kevin Hamilton / Aaron Har...Roley Yuma
Members: Randy Cornett / Kevin Hamilton / Aaron Hardy / Tyler McKinley
As you skim through the band’s debut Sun Tea, you’ll quickly notice a plethora of influences coursing through its veins, revealing an impeccable gift of skimming through the realm of alt/indie to create a distinctive sound. With guitar work ranging from jangly to droney, they create near-perfect backdrops for the exceptionally literate lyricism of Cornett, who weaves intriguing tales of modern living, complete with effortless abuse of pop culture references. As this quartet continues to hone its live show and puts out two new releases in 2012, keep an eye and ear out as they may quickly gain notice in Dayton and beyond.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.