January 2, 2011

Album Review: Yuck's Yuck

Among of the fresh faces AwkwardSound put on its radar for 2011 was Yuck, a London-based quintet featuring members from all parts of the globe who share a common appreciation for fuzzed out '90s-era indie rock. Yuck has cited a wide spectrum of bands from that period as major influences, yet their debut self-titled album is evident these young noise makers take their Teenage Fanclub and Galaxie 500 persuasions most seriously. Like these two slocore luminaries, Yuck have a firm handle on creating noise with restraint and emotion.

Yes, the album is top-heavy with catchy distortion jams that explain why Dinosaur Jr. chose them as a recent opening act ("Get Away," "The Wall," "Holing Out,") but Yuck steps off the pedal halfway through with stripped down numbers where sincere lyrics take precedence over guitar hiss ("Shook Down," "Suicide Policeman," "Suck," "Sunday.") "Georgia" is a mid-tempo single currently making waves where band leader, Danny Blumberg, shares vocals with sister, Ilana, resulting in a of sweet concoction of shoegaze pop goodness. "Operation" finds Yuck in an aggressive state much like fellow '90s nostalgists Japandroids, where Danny's singing becomes a shouting chorus amid of flurry of jagged-edged, warped guitar riffs. The emotional peak of the album comes at its conclusion. "Rubber" is one of those tracks that builds and builds, until it seems like its been going on forever until you realize the clamor of drums has gotten more frequent and louder, while the distortion is nearly making your ears bleed. In this instance, Yuck most confidently exemplify their ability to create a well-crafted balance of balls-to-the-wall noise, melody and captivating emotion.

It's a welcome change of pace to the genre as bands like the aforementioned Japandroids, PS I Love You and even The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to a certain extent seemed very eager to showcase themselves in an energy-filled, raucous light on their formal debuts. Yuck on the other hand offer up a style of quiet noise which makes their official entrance just as noticeable.

Yuck's Yuck will be released February 15, 2011 on Fat Possum Records.

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