Not the Same
Yuck’s debut self-titled album was somehow both nostalgic and refreshing at the same time. Ex-frontman Daniel Blumberg, who announced earlier this year his departure from the band to focus on other projects, had a perfect voice to coincide with the band: forlorn, angst-y and drawn-out. But now, two years later and without Blumberg, the young indie rockers from the UK have released their second full-length, Glow & Behold. Guitarist Max Bloom is now fronting the band and Yuck never displayed any uncertain or negative thoughts in terms of Blumberg’s departure. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite, making Glow & Behold a much anticipated album.
There are, of course, many differences in Glow & Behold in comparison to Yuck. First of all, Bloom can’t fill Blumberg’s shoes vocally– not that we all know how great everything sounded originally. He does a nice impression and stylistically, the vocals are the same; it’s just that Blumberg did a better job of creating true feeling for a listener.
Secondly, the album sounds cleaner. The lo-fi fuzz is turned way down, which is evident from the very beginning on opener “Sunrise In Maple Shade,” a simple, delightful, three-minute instrumental track complete with a horn section. There is also the complementary track “Twilight In Maple Shade” later in the album, which is slightly heavier and darker.
There is also room for Yuck to experiment with other sounds. In “Somewhere,” you hear something resembling a keyboard, which we haven’t heard much of. And in “Nothing New,” you faintly hear what sounds like a bell, along with more of that horn section.
While all this is true, many original elements of Yuck are still intact. “Memorial Fields” sounds a lot like “Stutter”; the single “Middle Sea” gives Yuck fans some of that lo-fi guitar we all love so much; and both “Out Of Time” and “Lose My Breath” sound like tried-and-true Yuck songs instrumentally.
Yuck made a huge splash in 2011 and it’s unfair that we already have to transition to this new Yuck sound since we didn’t get enough of the original. The entire Yuck album is still in my music rotation; I don’t know if Glow & Behold will hold that prominent position. It doesn’t provide the same electrifying feeling Yuck did when listening to it for the first time, or even the second.