Review: Tune-Yards, ‘Whokill’

Review: Tune-Yards, ‘Whokill’: Aidin Vaziri | Merrill Garbus is kind of like those musicians who occasionally appear at Fisherman’s Wharf with every fathomable instrument strapped to their bodies. But rather than making an unholy racket, when the woman who performs under the name Tune-Yards starts plucking her ukulele, banging her drums and stomping on her effects pedals, what comes out is pretty close to transcendent. On her outfit’s second album, “Whokill,” her paint-peeling wail tears through the cacophony of primal rhythms, jagged chords and layered harmonies on supernaturally soulful tunes such as “Powa” and “Bizness.” Better still, while her 2009 breakthrough, “Bird Brains,” was recorded onto a used cassette tape using nothing but a handheld tape recorder, this one was recorded in a proper studio. That hasn’t stripped it of its DIY charm – it still feels like Björk minus a million dollars.


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