Band of the Week: The Librarians

MEET THE BAND: Sharon Yoo (vocals, guitar), Carol Yachanin (bass), Barb Eckles (drums)

A GOOD OLD-FASHIONED POWER TRIO: The band first came together in 1999 when members decided to jam together and see what happened. "We all knew each other from playing in other bands, and Carol and Barb had played together in another band," says Yoo. The group quickly gelled after the jam sessions. "Once we started playing, we thought it was pretty cool," says Eckles. Songs came to the band within a week. "Our band formed so quickly," Eckles says. "Everything about our band was a whirlwind. The more we played, the more proficient we got. Playing live was an incredible experience. We didn't expect it to become what it did. It was a neat thing to see happen," adds Eckles. Because band members' other bands played poppier or more ethereal music, the Librarians embraced what Yoo calls a "straightforward heavy rock thing." "We enjoyed being in a power trio as women and indulging in this heavy sound. We liked the hard rock feel. There weren't many women doing it at the time. We had all embraced a broad scope of music and some of us were trained classically, so we had this broad spectrum of music to draw from." Yoo and Eckles admit male bands such as the Scorpions, Fu Manchu and Blue Oyster Cult influenced the group's sound.

THAT ELUSIVE FIRST ALBUM: The band made a number of "scratch tapes" but never put out a formal debut album. It recorded several sessions at Yoo's home and did some preproduction too. "We still have some of the tracks on a tape," says Yoo.

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: The band played its last show in 2001 and then Eckles moved to Columbus to attend Ohio State University. She still lives and works in Columbus. When some of the Librarians' musician friends began playing the annual punk rock reunion that Mahall's hosts each year, the seeds for a Librarians' reunion were planted. Now, the group has worked up six of its old songs for a reunion show. "We're keeping it to a 30-minute set or less," says Yoo, who adds that the group may start to play regularly once again. "We have technology that makes it easier to collaborate remotely. We can trade MP3 files. It won't be at a quick pace, but we want to continue to collaborate."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Back in its heyday, the group often drew comparisons to Queens of the Stone Age, and many of its songs have a stoner rock feel. A tune like the sludge-y "Disengaged" features shrieking vocals and a heavy, Sabbath-inspired guitar riff as Yoo screams "I am alive" with a real fierceness. With its bluesy guitars, the mid-tempo "Purple" feels like a Cream tune, albeit with a female singer.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: The Librarians perform with Cypher, the Atomix, Brave Bones and the Hooligans as part of Home for the Holidays 3 — A Punk Rock Reunion! at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23, at Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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