The New ’90s
It’s hard not to compare London-based Yuck’s debut self-titled album to the sounds of Dinosaur Jr. and Pixies, but don’t be quick to dismiss the album due to its familiarity. Singer/songwriter Daniel Blumberg is all but 20 years old after all, and Blink-182 was his first favorite band. They certainly aren’t complete copycats.
“Get Away” opens the album and provides a little taste of what to expect on the following 11 tracks: lo-fi fuzz, alt-rock that’s just indie enough not to be played on radio rotation, changes of pace, slightly angst-y lyrics but ultimately nothing to worry about. By the time you get to the third track, “Shook Down,” the cleaner-sounding acoustic guitar gets a chance to shine and Blumberg’s vocals, which are normally in the background, are more prominent in this slower song.
“Rubber” closes the album and loses much of the ’90s sound and ends up sounding more like a track on a Japandroids album. Guitar distortion is heavy and Blumberg’s voice moves slowly, almost with hesitation. The track surpasses 7 minutes and toward the end sounds even more distorted, noisy and spacey.
Lyrically, we aren’t talking about any Bob Dylan-esque songs. The group focuses less on that and Blumberg has stated he’s more interested in one simple line in a song that “really cuts you.” “Sunday,” a track Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower would’ve probably put on a mix tape for Sam, repeats “Did you take the rhythm from me?/Yesterday I had it all” and “I’ve got a choice now, I’ve got a voice now,” among other repeated one-liners.
Yuck brings a welcoming sound to the current indie-rock world. It is an album to be recommended.