Yuck's self titled album released in February this year is quite rightly one of the best received debuts of 2011. Leaving behind their former incarnation as indie pop group Cajun Dance Party, the London five piece have embraced the slacker tones of the US and returned as a triumphant and accomplished band.
However, it would be unfair to the band to write them off as merely grunge revivalists walking in the shadow of messrs Malkmus, Mascics and all. For this band have not simply released an album of forgettable songs to be filed under unashamed copyists, rather they have released an album full of fantastic pop songs with spiraling, scuzzy guitars and endearing lo-fi vocals supplied by the talented Daniel Blumberg. The blueprint of the tunes are recognizable, but after scratching the surface you are rewarded with a full, tender sound.
On album highlights, 'The Wall' and 'Georgia', the two directions the bands take are shown most beautifully. Insanely hummable, 'The Wall' comes on with the slacker pop sound that is most indebted to the plaid shirted rockers of yore and a chorus that is a once-in-your-mind-it never-gets-outer. 'Georgia' is a real head nodder, with feedback coming out your ears and the beautifully in-sync voices of Ilana and Daniel Blumberg drifting out on top leaving you breathless and wanting more.
Yet there are moments of real difference in this album, such as the rockier 'Operation' led by an irresistible bassline thrummed out by Japanese bassist Mariko Doi, the vocals almost drowned out by the wall of noise laid down with expert riffery. And 'Suicide Policeman' showing the tender side in which Yuck mercifully remove much of the feedback to reveal the pain of lyrics such as, 'Brother, if you're feeling low/ Tell me one thing I should know of your situation'. Closing track 'Rubber' is drenched in sludge-y guitars and tortured twisted vocals barely cutting through the noise resulting in an all enveloping wave of sound fitting to close such a brilliant album to.
Yuck then, aren't reinventing the wheel, or experts of innovation in the world of music, don't expect anything from this album other than exactly what they wanted to do, which is write an album full of heart-breaking 90s influenced tunes and record them in what seems to be a dustbin with bed covers over the all the microphones. So slackers of the country unite and thank you Yuck for giving us something to do nothing to.