Yuck - Yuck [2011] Deluxe Edition

MUSiC, Album. October 2, 2011 by robinhood.

Yuck - Yuck [2011] [Album]
Fat Possum / Deluxe Edition / MP3 / 256

There's no escaping it: If you've heard anything about Yuck, it's that this London four-piece loves the 90s. The band's members are very clearly products of the web rather than any particular geography; their self-titled debut evinces tastes that run toward fuzzy indie bands from both sides of the pond. Yes, there's a bit of the wah-pedal guitar violence of Dinosaur Jr., and a little of the lackadaisical detachment of Pavement, but there's also the rich tunefulness of Teenage Fanclub and Velocity Girl, and at times the unadorned resignation of Red House Painters or Elliott Smith. However, like so many artists saddled (fairly or not) with the "revival" tag, from post-punk and garage-rock to nu-disco or neo-soul, Yuck are worth hearing not so much because of who they sound like, but what they've done with those sounds: in this case, make a deeply melodic, casually thrilling coming-of-age album for a generation that never saw Nirvana on "120 Minutes".

As with their best peers in the Fat Possum stable, Yuck distinguish themselves by knowing their way around around a catchy, emotionally evocative song. Sometimes these can be bright and optimistic, almost twee, as in the peppy boy-girl endearments of "Georgia", or the midtempo acoustic yearning of "Shook Down". Elsewhere, they can be gritty and urgent: Screeches of feedback occasionally drown out drowsy vocals on "Holing Out", nicely suiting lyrics about communication problems; likewise, the distortion-blistered repetitions of "The Wall" suggest the Sisyphean efforts they describe. Then there are the heartfelt mopers: the stripped-down comfort offer "Suicide Policeman", the Galaxie 500-meets-"Nightswimming" "Stutter", or the lonely post-breakup jangler "Sunday". Seven-minute closer "Rubber" is the type of gorgeously incantatory slow burner veterans like Yo La Tengo stlll make (see "More Stars Than There Are in Heaven", from 2009's underrated 'Popular Songs')-- not to mention Mogwai, who've remixed it-- but too few bands successfully emulate. Add up these different types of tracks, and you have an unusually coherent album-length experience.

If you've heard anything else about Yuck, it might be that two of the band members, singer/guitarist Daniel Blumberg and guitarist Max Bloom, used to play in Cajun Dance Party: ambitious and typically spazzy post-Arctic Monkeys NME faves who issued a Bernard Butler-produced debut album, 'The Colourful Lif'e, in 2008 on XL. As with that former band, Yuck are occasionally guilty of some awkward lyrics-- the seemingly gratuitous "crucifixion"/"benediction"/"addiction" rhymes on note-bending love ballad "Suck" come to mind-- and it's hard to guess how long they can keep this particular sound going (a Yu[c]k side project offers intriguing hints). But together Blumberg, Bloom, drummer Jonny Rogoff, and bass player Mariko Doi, joined on certain tracks by part-time backing singer Ilana Blumberg, have taken a giant step forward. As Blumberg sang with his old band, the one he started as a 15-year-old, "This is now and that was then." Or as he sings now, on instantly searing album opener, "Get Away": "I can't get this feeling off my mind." Whether they remember the 90s or not, more than a few people could end up saying something similar about 'Yuck'.

Just when you thought you had downloaded the entire album, the iTunes Exclusive Bonus Track Edition adds two more absolutely essential tracks, "Dark Magnet" and "Cousin Corona" and the Amazon.com Edition tacks on "The Base of a Dream Is Empty", proving once again that record labels are cognizant of early leaks and finding ways to still end up selling some music!


Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Fat Possum

Track List:
01. Get Away
02. The Wall
03. Shook Down
04. Holing Out
05. Suicide Policeman
06. Georgia
07. Suck
08. Stutter
09. Operation
10. Sunday
11. Rose Gives a Lilly
12. Rubber

Deluxe Edition B-Sides:
13. The Base of a Dream Is Empty
14. Milkshake
15. Coconut Bible
16. Cousin Corona
17. Doctors In My Bed
18. Soothe Me




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