Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yuck - 'Yuck'

It’s all well and good to imitate bands from the 90’s. Throw a bit of Malkmus slack in with some Thurston Moore distortion, add a dash of J Mascis wah-pedal and you’ve got the perfect combination for a sweet sounding, yet essentially uninspiring ‘garage’ band. That’s not to say that I don’t like this type of music, or even to say that it doesn’t dominate most of the play time on my iTunes. Some of the time however, it fails to recreate that poignant inimitability characterised by garage heroes like Jay Reatard and Japandroids. How do these bands manage to define their sound in a world where all modern music, in essence sounds pretty damn generic? Ask multinational band Yuck and I’m sure they’d be able to shed some light on the situation. Their self-titled debut, which is now out via Fat Possum records, presents itself as an accessible microcosm of the defining sound of 90’s alternative rock. From the beginning, the opening track ‘Get Away’ reveals front man, Daniel Blumberg’s (Cajun Dance Party) infatuation with bands like Pavement and The Wrens. – the slackened fuzziness of Blumberg’s guitar, the tinny treble of Mariko Doi’s bass line, the wail of Max Bloom’s lead guitar trills are embodiments of the sound Yuck have produced on this album. The greatness of this band however doesn’t lie in their ability to imitate bands from a certain decade, but rather in their emotionally provocative melodies, coupled with their utilization of distortion and fuzz that adds a 21st century complexity to their music. It’s interesting to compare Yuck to Blumberg and Bloom’s original band Cajun Dance Party. Stylistically, they’ve certainly matured from Kooks-like British indie to create an album with a strong musical and lyrical foundation. You get the sense that Blumberg may’ve considered this when on the track ‘Sunday’ he sings “I’ve got a choice now; I’ve got a voice now”. The album reaches its climax on the last track ‘Rubber’, showcasing Blumberg’s song writing ability. Despite its repetitiveness over its 7 minute lifespan, the song captivates it’s listener from the first second as the warm distortion penetrates the eardrum, slipping in to the depths of human thought. The 90’s may be over, but Yuck are just beginning.

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