One of the Better Rock Bands that Ever Existed.
Beaten By Yuri: After meeting at Oakland University in the Spring of 2003, multi-instrumentalists Kevin Golden and Jarod Facknitz spent time hashing out unconventional song ideas in each other's basements. Their 4-track debut album, Time For Eugenics, was done in complete DIY fashion; with demos scrambled together and microphones set up without any knowledge of the mechanics. As a result, the muddled, sometimes indecipherable lyrics and textures on Eugenics have been dismissed by the duo as "a train wreck, but the good kind."
To create the greatest possible contrast from their first release, Beaten By Yuri decided to make a willingly precocious musical expose in an a state-of-the-art studio with expert Jim Kissling. Taking two years to record, and being entirely self-funded, the band's second album, GERTA, was written almost entirely in the studio. From exhaustively reviewing and tweaking mixes, to attempting a different style/genre with every song on the album, to butting heads over every minute decision, Facknitz and Golden etched out a stressful, yet inspired follow-up that they maintain to be the greatest artistic achievement of their careers. With styles ranging from Euro-Gypsy textures to Pixies-esque thrash and from Beach Boys lushness to Country and Folk ballads, the album was all over the map. Select fans in of the local variety triumphed the audacity, but few others gave the album the second, third, or even seventeenth listens it demanded. Idle reviewers gave the album high marks, most notably deeming it “original, adventurous, and bewildering rock,” via Whipserin and Hollerin magazine in the UK while Overground Underground in the States claimed “Beaten By Yuri are working from the same template set by the Beatles 40 years ago, a mish-mash of rock, psychedelia, and avante garde pop . . . looking toward the future with High-IQ irreverence.”
After failed attempts to locate a decent manager and get radio airplay despite numerous submissions, Facknitz and Golden moved to Chicago where they filmed many videos on a $0 budget, recorded endlessly and performed sporadically. They were met blank stares every step of the way, despite their unique and prolific output. After noodling for years at Chicago's Ape Trax Studios, the duo eventually released Gimme Back My Comb (I Wanna Look Good Before I Kill Myself) and Freckled Portuguese on the same day, their much anticipated follow-up to GERTA. The albums were an unlikely pairing. GBMC was a densely produced collection of aggressive anthems interlaced with soaring balladry. Freckled Portuguese showed the band at its most intimate, a collection of psychotic folk confessionals that could simultaneously call to mind the Beach Boys, Wilco, Sparklehorse, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Both albums were masterpieces.
The band decided to stop working together in the Summer of 2012, finding the project to be a huge mental and financial drain, and using its support (or lack thereof up to that point) as an indication of things to come. They both still live in Illinois, and remain close friends. Their music, of course, is available online and at bandcamp.
Stay tuned for details . . . if any.
BBY would like to thank all of our friends, family, and fans who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign! We are forever indebted to your generosity:
Claire Kander, The Goldberg clan (Jen, Andy, and Justin), Scott Landstrom, Elisa Heine, Shawn McCulloch, Dr. Peter Slavin, Ian Peterson, Garrett Ignasiak, Nick Kirby, The Wheatcrofts, Craig Golden, Gail Golden, David Golden, Chris Pomazanko, Kevin Rashid, Brian Flynn, Danny Flynn, Yung Tse Tung,Rick Sawdon, Luke Harris, The Kirby bunch (Dave and Lucy), Jacob Kander, Lisa and Ken Kander, Adam Kander, Beth Kander, Phil Joseph, Nick Combs, Pete Navis, Marty Muthuswami, Evan Jacobson, Jonas Friddle, Maria McCulloch, Lindsay Weinberg, Todd Kollus, James Bentley, Jadey Dresser, and Josh Bench.