Yuck | Yuck
Most Likely To: take you back to the ’90s.
Like a moody and capricious teenager, Yuck has gone through more transformations and changes than you can keep track of. With each release, Yuck has shown the world a different personality. Just when you thought you had gotten a hold of their sound, they’d pull the rug out from under your feet.
With their first single, “Georgia,” it was all about exuberant, fuzzy, lo-fi pop-rock with lovely harmonies. Then, on their second single “Rubber,” we got an artsy, meandering, seven-minute exploration filled with guitars drenched in overdrive and moody vocals that slowly built into a miasmic swirl of guitar fuzz, howls, and feedback.
Given these two initial releases, it’s no surprise that their self-titled debut album (just released by Fat Possum) varies dramatically in terms of ambience, influence, and style from track to track. But perhaps what is surprising, is the early ’90s alternative rock influences which can be heard throughout.
Yuck will have you scratching your head and pouring through your memory to figure out why some songs sound so familiar. Plainly heard are traces of The Gin Blossoms, The Verve Pipe, and early Weezer. Opening track “Get Away” commences with lo-fi fuzz before a guitar line reminiscent of Weezer’s Blue Album kicks in. Meanwhile, “Rose Gives Lily” sounds as if American Analog Set were playing a cover of The Verve Pipe’s “Freshmen.”
By the time you hit “Shook Down,” which sounds a bit like The Gin Blossoms, you’ll think you’re wearing Airwalks, baggy jeans, and a flannel shirt tied around your waist while watching a Christian Slater movie to the Empire Records soundtrack. With lines like “you could be my destiny,” “you turn me upside down/face to ground,” and “I’ve had enough of being young and free,” it’s the voice of jaded and disenchanted Gen X-ers all over again.
While strolls down memory lane are always fun, Yuck infuses the apathy that was at the foundation of alt-rock with more progressive experimentation. Blissful energy and guitar fuzz envelop vocalist Daniel Blumberg’s world-weary sneers. In particular “Georgia,” “The Wall,” and “Holing Out” put their lo-fi guitar fuzz driven sound on full display.
Like those angsty youths from the ’90s, Yuck’s inconsistency and sudden shifts will leave you puzzled and even hating them at times. But there are moments on Yuck where the band shines through to showcase some serious potential and remind you why you were rooting for them in the first place.
Listen to “Rubber” from Yuck: