The influence of Vampire Weekend with its blend of African guitars and polyrhythms and indie-pop vocals is apparent throughout the five tracks on the self-titled debut EP by the Wicker Park quartet Yawn. But what the group lacks in originality it more than makes up for with sheer joyful exuberance on songs such as "Toys" and "Empress," streaming on the Web at http://www.myspace.com/metrovoxmusic. And the group does put its own unique stamp on the "Graceland"-derived grooves with more cascading percussion and burbling synthesizers.
Formed by Adam, Daniel, Jorge and Sam--no surnames for this unassuming foursome--the band claims to have been making music together since the members all were in their late teens. A fresh-faced enthusiasm permeates their current output--the four describe themselves as "now grown but not quite matured... playing with toys and bringing joy to the masses"--and it promises a lack of pretension and abundance of good cheer in their live shows. They next take the stage at 9 p.m. on Halloween night, Oct. 31, at Snack Manor in Ravenswood; visit their Web site for more info.