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Yuck
Yuck
Mercury/Fat Possum Records


Certain sounds, just like certain fashions, can benefit from being buried and forgotten about for a period of time. At some point someone will dig it up and put a spin on it to make it popular or desirable again. In this case, the style at hand is 90s' indie guitar rock. Someone leaked a little bit of this time capsule a bit too early, but no one seems to be complaining. Yuck are a four piece out of London with a love of everything 1990s. Vocalists/guitarists, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom, have made leaps and bounds from their previous project, Cajun Dance Party. Their self-titled album, Yuck, has already been compared to such great names as Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth, but they are by no means limited to just ripping off classic indie rock styles. There is a general heroin-laden alternative appeal layered in most of their songs you may have found in some of the better albums of the 90s, but aside from that there is, on a whole, some quality production and spot on guitar work. The only thing they are missing is a Spike Jonze video. This album is going to be getting some regular rotation, but more importantly, their set at Pitchfork 2011 is getting pretty high up there on the must-see list.

Yuck covers all the bases. Like others have mentioned their sounds do seem directly influenced by specific 90's indie rocker likes such as Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. As previously stated, they are by no means limited to those influences and sounds. Songs like "Suicide Policeman" sound like someone convinced Dave Bazan to bail on Pedro The Lion and let Scott Weiland step in. "Georgia" might be the first real obvious use of female back-up vocals on the album. The fuzzy vocal duo is complimented by an almost Broken Social Scene-style production that includes thick ripping guitar riffs that echo throughout your head and relentless tambourine work that would make Stevie Nicks' wrist hurt. The biggest downer on the album would have to be "Suck". Not to say that it isn't one of the most memorable or impressive tracks on the album, it actually is. The vocals play around more in a Lou Reed range while the guitars stick close to their roots, but also start to sound a little like John Frusciante. There are two tracks aside from the ones already mentioned that really take their sound to that certain level that is simultaneously both nostalgic and brand new. The first being "Holing Out" which would be considered their balls-to-the-wall rocker. The second and slightly more epic of the two is the final track "Rubber". Word's can't really explain the depth, the sludge, or the soul that are found on this track. "Rubber" is the longest song on the fifty minute album with just as much impact as the rest of the album but also displays great power as a closing track, while it leaves you craving a little bit more.

It's been a long time coming, but we might have solid indie guitar rock band again. There is plenty of reason to believe that Yuck possesses the talent to stick around and hopefully really impact some folks at Pitchfork this year. In the meantime don't be surprised if you find fellow listeners with a half finished beer lying on their tiled kitchen floor with this album on.

-brad knain

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Mike Doughty



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