Actually, Quite Yummy.
Yuck’s third album, Stranger Things, arrives three years after original lead singer, Daniel Blumberg, left the band, leaving Max Bloom to take his place. With the change in sound from their debut to second album receiving mixed reviews, it’s a privilege to say, the new line up seem to have worked out some of those kinks.
The album is full of subtle, simple, and frequently upbeat melodies, over-driven guitar, and sweetly earnest lyrics that are thoroughly enjoyable to get lost in. The 90s shoegaze vibe is strong with this album, sporting some heavy, but not overpowering distortion on “Hold Me Closer” and even the subsequent “Cannonball.”
However, the most nostalgic song would have to be “Only Silence,” which encompasses the vibe of the era nigh photographically. At times on the album, the vocals are muffled, but when weren’t they in the 90s! Bloom is actually very good as a singer and enjoyable to listen to in spite of the muffles. That is not to say it is ridiculous noise only viable for select listeners (read: Sonic Youth). Quite the contrary. Incorporating these elements, the band has created a mellow rock sound with an excellent attention to melody on each track.
By far, one track that really sets itself apart is “As I Walk Away.” Mariko Doi shines in this song with both excellent bass melody and beautiful vocals. The lyrics are mentally stimulating, creating an entire world within the song that ebbs and flows with the song itself. It’s truly a masterpiece of indie rock. While Stranger Things may not have any state-of-the-art, ahead-of-its-time tracks, each is sound in structure and perfectly original. The album (that is to say, the band) may be considered “90s”-esque, but their sound is uniquely theirs. A good leap away from Glow, it’s a respectable, fun album and a good-on-ya for Yuck.