Yuck – Yuck
I’m not old enough to remember the likes of Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins or Sonic Youth but I sure am a fan of the late ‘80s, early ‘90s grunge music which stands firmly as an important part of music history, a fact which has been enforced recently by a fresh, new band with a haunting ‘90s grunge revival sound.
The band, astonishingly, are from London and go by the name of Yuck. Born out of Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom’s collective musical talent which was first showcased to the world in the band, Cajun Dance Party in 2008 (a band which sadly fizzled out after a lonely album, leaving behind heartbroken fans and disappointed critics alike) Yuck have brought the lo-fi, grungy sound that every teenage Nirvana fan born too late (like me) has had lacking from their life.
Their sound is something of power and drive with strong rhythmic basslines, something any Dinosaur Jr fan would recognise, glimmering guitars, reminiscent of Smashing Pumpkins’ 1979 or Tonight, Tonight. The vocals, on the heavier songs, sound distorted, as if recorded on a vintage microphone and are edged right down into the instruments at some points getting lost in the music, think Gouge Away or Wave of Mutilation by Pixies. The quieter, gentler, lullaby-ish tracks evocative of the distant, haunting vocals and melodies of Elliot Smith or the gentler Radiohead tracks.
It is, of course, unfair to compare Yuck to such notable bands but observing these likenesses is an inevitable part of experiencing their music as they take us back to a rosy-romantic time of angst, melancholy and straightforward, durable, hardwearing music (much like the clothes).
Yuck’s self-titled debut album opens with the powerful and beautiful Get Away; thudding drums are the driving force of the track with a resonant guitar riff and those vintage, broken microphone sounding vocals that sooth the overdriven bass line. It has a fun, driving around in summer with the windows down and the music up loud type feel that evokes the nostalgic sensibility encouraged by the next 13 tracks. The Wall is it’s follow up, keeping with the hurtling feel of the first track and that warm, wistful sound drawn from their late-‘80s and ‘90s influences. These two tracks start the album with such energy and simplicity that take us, without hesitation, into the rest of record (if you weren’t already convinced).
The sound that Yuck have adopted is clearly not an attempt on new, innovative or revolutionary but what they do demonstrate is strong songwriting and variety; Georgia has that distinct grungy Seattle noise but it has a freshness that gives it such strength as a solid track for release.
Other notable tracks are Suck, a melodic guitar piece with beautiful vocal hooks, Stutter and Rose Gives A Lilly, all stripped back, restful tracks that draw on the delicacy and emotion that can be evoked from crafted songwriting.
Yuck are a great band who show that you don’t have to be different to make a difference, I just hope they can keep the raw, awry affection and driving spirit needed for 20 more years of teenage angst.
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