Multi-national five-piece Yuck might be young but their experience and ambition highlights maturity shown in the music they have been releasing since forming just over twelve months ago. Frontman Daniel Blumberg and guitarist Max Bloom are former members of London indie band Cajun Dance Party who started out in 2005 when they were just fifteen. After moderate success the band never got the chance to release their second album and these two departed for a fresh start and a fresh sound.
The line-up is completed by Daniel's sister, Ilana, American Jonny Rogoff and Mariko Doi from Japan. The mixture of cultures and influences come through on their self-titled debut. There are two sides to this band, the lo-fi scratchy sound of nineties America with comparisons to Sonic Youth and Pavement but underneath the distorted guitars and whiney vocals you will find elegance and beauty. The added female backing vocals go together with Daniel's rough voice.
The album opens with the echoey “Get Away”, a perfect introduction to the album. There are pop melodies that blend with their signature lo-fi sound. You would have never guessed this was the same person singing on Cajun Dance Party's record. “The Wall” follows in the same vein as the opener but it is the third track where their other side comes out.
“Shook Down” is delicate, innocent, melodic, with the infusion of male and female vocals and soft guitars show a gentler turn. It's these songs that highlight how versatile this young band are, “Suicide Policeman” has charm and “Sunday” is stripped back with some added 'chill-wave'. Another of the more angelic songs, “Suck” wouldn't sound out of place on a Pavement album, even Daniel's voice could easily be mistaken for Stephen Malkmus'.
“Holding Out” is one of the stand-out tracks with the screeching guitars and an urgency rather than the laid back shoegaze influence that feature on earlier tracks. One of the bands earliest singles, “Georgia” captures a rare upbeat moment on the record. “Operation” is a distorted mess, an OCD mess, on the outside it seems haphazard but listen closer and it is well thought out, almost perfect noise. The album concludes with the grungiest song on the album, “Rubber”, which is jam-pack with drone and gloom for seven minutes.
The album is a grower and I imagine the band will be too if they can keep it together this time.