Yuck are a band that I’ve tried to stay away from ever since their inception. I was an avid fan of Cajun Dance Party, and being the sap I am Yuck felt like a bit of a betrayal, but with a summer free of things to do, and a lot of sunshine for it to soundtrack I weakened and listened to their self-titled debut.
Get Away is drenched such lo-fi production (I really hate using that term, it’s so lazy) that the lyrics are often indecipherable, but to be honest that’s part of the beauty. It sounds like something my parents could have listened to as I was growing up, steeped in the whole nu-grunge movement, but then again I’ll embrace anything that doesn’t make me an outcast for wearing plaid.
The Wall surprises me as it highlights how melodic the tracks on this album are. Yes there’s the grunge element there, but there’s something different. Yet more reverb and scuzzy guitars highlights this, and I feel quite ashamed for taking this long to listen to an album that is one of the best I’ve heard recently.
Shook Down is reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub, and lead vocalist Daniel Blumberg’s voice really stands out, and as the track fades out the refrain of ‘You could be my destiny’ sits perfectly alongside the gently fading guitars.
However, it’s straight back to the lo-fi fuzz on next track Holing Out. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, all this distortion and the like, but I do like to hear the lyrics and I’m struggling here. And another part of me wonders how incredible live this would be, in the right setting. Thankfully I’ll get to experience them at the Academy in Newcastle later this year, and possibly even at Pitchfork Festival in a few weeks. But I’m going off topic here, it’s all about the distortion, and I do love a bit of distortion.
My fears are subdued that this album is a one-trick pony by the magnificent Suicide Policeman. Relying more on the gentle strumming of the guitar and the interplay between Daniel and backing vocalist Llana Blumberg. Definitely a stand-out track on the album.
Georgia falls yet again into much of the albums vein, described by some as ‘shoegazey Sonic Youth’ and this is not downplayed at all. On Georgia, Llana ethereal backing vocals improve what could have been yet more of the same. And not forgetting the almost constant rattle of a tambourine that lifts the mood of the entire song (I shamelessly wil be replaying this over and over as I head shopping in Wicker Park next week).
Yuck have captured the youthful innoncence of Cajun Dance Party, but its now packaged with a level of maturity that has only made the music released so much better. And the prime example of this here is Sunday, a track which made me feel incredibly lousy for dismissing the earlier. Oozing along lazily like a Teenage Fanclub (I feel I’ll be listening to those a lot over this summer), its a blissful summer sounding track, but one that gets away with it by the skin of its teeth (part of me thinks it would be pretty wondrous to listen to in the snow!)
Gladly, I’ve fallen completely in love with the bands debut, and I already want then to hurry up and release some more. But until then I’ll have to be content in the knowledge that I’ll possiby be seeing them live soon.