Yuck – Yuck

written by: February 18, 2011
yuck_yuck_album cover Release Date: February 15, 2011


Oh, to be young and beautiful with a penchant for early ’90s college rock. Yuck, having just released its self-titled debut, is living the dream. The boy-girl, feel-good group has been scooping up critical praise like a lint roller and is fast conquering the ears and hearts of listeners on both sides of the pond. Few bands in memory have used four guitars so deftly.

Among certain circles in Britannia Yuck is hailed simply as “the saviours.”

Frontman Daniel Blumberg founded Yuck with former bandmate Max Bloom in the wake of Cajun Dance Party’s breakup. The latter was signed to XL records when Blumberg was 16. Now, at the ripe old age of 20, Fat Possum’s young guns, Blumberg and Yuck look to disgust and shock you. Or at least get their name on your lips.

The choice to channel the ’90s was apparently a deliberate one, and Blumberg is unashamed to confess his undying love for Dinosaur Jr. and Neutral Milk Hotel. It sounds like Pavement. It sounds like Yo La Tengo, but let us not make comparisons.

Give Yuck some air to breathe, free of its two-decade old context. It’s an influence that has informed Yuck’s sound, not killed it in advance. At least the duo acknowledges it.

“Georgia” was the band’s first, DIY-released single—Blumberg’s 15-year-old sister providing the vocals. The pretty little ditty about a bitter breakup immediately drives along with the clamorous drone of riffing and doesn’t let up until it’s done. The Londoners frequently rely on energy-fueled rockers, rife with fuzz guitar and distorted vocals, but they’re also capable of carrying a ballad. Look at “Suicide Policeman,” with its barebones acoustic and heart-throbby vocals (and elevator music breakdown!), all eventually accompanied by trumpets. But it’s not the only proof they can slow down and arpeggiate, in “Shook Down,” a shimmering song of affection, Blumberg sings, “You can be my destiny.”

For the most part, Yuck is upbeat, toe-tapping catchiness—check the bounce flash bassline on “Get Away.” Audiences are singing along already. The slow drag of “Suck,” seems to stem from the band’s (particularly Bloom and Blumberg’s) frustration at being thrust into rock and roll so young, “Wait for me/ I’ve had enough of being young and free.” Problems one wants to have.

Despite the duos relative experience, Yuck is a group still brewing its potential, still discovering its chemistry and evolving into a sound all its own. There is no one track on Yuck that stands heads and shoulders above the others, nor do any lag behind.

The result, is a fairly flat structure. Still, the album is full of well arranged, solid performances. The lyricism is neither adroit nor sloppy, but it’s there and definitely more muscular than most 20-year-old efforts. What Yuck showcases is a prodigious young band whose only direction from here is up. Already, Yuck is achieving and getting the hype.

The music scene is practically waiting for them. Even though the band only released an EP and a handful of songs in 2010, critics are already talking them up to be shakers of this year’s “Best of.” With an American tour in progress, opening for Smith Westerns, all Yuck has to do is deliver. With Yuck, there’s no danger of that.

Yuck – Yuck tracklist

  1. “Get Away”
  2. “The Wall”
  3. “Shook Down”
  4. “Holing Out”
  5. “Suicide Policeman”
  6. “Georgia”
  7. “Suck”
  8. “Stutter”
  9. “Operation”
  10. “Sunday”
  11. “Rose Gives a Lily”
  12. “Rubber”