Listening to Yuck time and time again makes it one of the easiest albums to review. The band hs influences all across the alternative rock spectrum, and while the majority of those are from bands of yesteryear, their spin provides some refreshing energy into a sound we’re all familiar with at this point.
Everyone should immediately recognize that there is one drawback, and only one to the first album from Yuck: it’s got really obvious influences. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as the band never go too far into mimicking their heroes, usually using various methods to further their own sonic pallate, which should be acceptable considering the band’s young age. Put that thought aside though from the get go because despite a perceived lack in originality, you’ll find everything you need in a great record: melodies, guitar hooks, edginess and anthem-like lyrics.
“Get Away” begins this self-titled affair with a bit of distorted guitar a la Dinosaur Jr., with a hint of Kim Deal playing bass beneath it. It’s a reminder of innocence that we often associate with early purveyors of indie rock, doing what they can just to show off their musicianship and guarantee us a good time. It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed listening to this sort of chugging, jagged guitar riffage.
Three tracks into Yuck and the band offers up a different spin with their tribute to the past. This time around, they bring in the melodic moments of Teenage Fanclub, and they’re successful in precisely the same way the TF is; they bring a warm breeze into the guitar playing, which is odd considering the rain and fog associated with Great Britain. But, the band also uses a nice little jaunt into a guitar solo to take the song to a different level, giving it more power than your normal tribute-style track. You’ll find a similar stylistic presence on “Sunday,” as well, which is one of my faves here.
There are some different spins on this record though, one’s that show Yuck finding their own ground. “Sucidie Policeman” comes off as a nice little ditty, but having a female foil to challenge the male vocals gives this song more depth overall. It doesn’t read as just a stopping point in mid-album, rather it’s a place for the band to hang their own hat as they continue to flesh out their very own distinctive sound in the near future. That also comes into play with the album’s original single, “Georgia.” Perhaps it does fall into an more distorted version of C86 bands, but the important thing is that combining male/female vocals demonstrates the band’s willingness to mess with their own formula…and with tracks like all the ones on here, Yuck are sure to come across a horizon filled with gems for our ears.
The bottom line of it all is that Yuck is a band you should really pay close attention to for the time being. Sure, songs like “Operation” definitely have a nod to Pavement, but who really cares? I mean, are you going to tell me if you heard a record full of solid new tracks from your favorite nostalgic act that you’d be upset? The bottom line is that despite all its nods to the past, Yuck is a record full of amazing songs that never bore you, that never seem dated. It’s just a sign of great things to come, as there doesn’t seem to be many ways this band can go wrong.
Download: Yuck – Georgia [MP3]