Sunday, 20 February 2011

REVIEW: YUCK - 'Yuck'

Imagine a lo-fi shaded Teenage Fanclub with flavours of Husker Du, The Smiths and Pavement... sometimes a little bit like Ash if they used the guitars more thoughtfully.... And little hints of a more melodic My Bloody Valentine played by a British shoegaze version of Sonic Youth and that's a bit like what this incredibly strong debut from Yuck sounds like. For me, wonderfully easy to listen to the first time and on the 2nd play it really made an impression. Lo-fi basslines and reverb-soaked guitars blend with gritty harmonies and joyful melodies that catch the ear with ease. For example check out THAT simple but powerfully melodic guitar bit towards the end of 'The Wall' as you realise this song is something more than worthy of a few listens.

'Shook Down' gives you that same sort of vibe that Teenage Fanclub do when they're at their best, sometimes even recalling the melodic charm of mid-90's era Boo Radleys. 'Rose Gives A Lilly' is slighly reminiscent of Mogwai, which demonstrates the maturity this group can already be capable of. But despite sometimes sounding like those bands, for a British guitar group from London it can be at times amazing how un-British they sometimes sound, yet the music still comes across as completely natural. With their distorted basslines and inspired use of guitars, the sound is influenced by late 80's/early 90's shoegaze bands more than any other British based genre. And unlike a lot of groups influenced by that sound, not only are Yuck hugely tuneful, but also nice and varied, their sound drifting from sweet acoustic bliss ('Suicide Policeman') to what sounds a little like the Pixies playing The Cure ('Georgia') and then to muddy slow paced drone-grunge ('Rubber').

So that's all the comparisons and the pigeonholing out of the way, now go and hear for yourselves just how good this band are....

And what is also striking for a debut album is how cool they sound, totally at ease and sounding like none of these songs were a struggle in the slightest. It obviously comes naturally to them.

And it gets a rating of a very respectable 8.3/10

That could grow with repeated listens.


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