Yuck released one of the best albums of 2011. The London band's self-titled debut encompasses everything great about '90s indie rock all squished into one album. It contains melody, distortion and a tons of volume. Unfortunately, these distinctive qualities have earned Yuck a reputation in the music media as grunge revivalists. This label has divided the press, with authors either claiming that Yuck is recycled and derivative or ambassadors of the next alternative generation.
Either way, there's no getting around it: Yuck sounds like '90s rock -- but only the best parts of really, really good '90s rock. Shit, it's not like the band is being constantly compared to Limp Bizkit or Matchbox 20 or even Bush. Yuck only gets compared to legendary, groundbreaking bands like friggin' Teenage Fanclub and GD Dinosaur Jr and Sonic MFing Youth. It's a compliment, really.
Still, the group's sound extends beyond these comparisons. It also balances My Bloody Valentine-esque scorchers with a whole host of sweeter sounds, like that of Pavement or Neil Young or bits of the great C86 bands. These comparisons are especially impressive considering that all of the band members in Yuck are in their early 20s. They didn't witness the rise and fall of alternative rock -- they were still toddlers when Nevermind came out. Still, the kids in Yuck reference their indie forefathers with great maturity and skill.
Part of this competence comes from experience. Yuck's two main songwriters, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom, have been in bands together since they were teenagers. A couple of years ago, Blumberg and Bloom quit the (relatively successful) Brit band Cajun Dance Party to form Yuck. With the addition of bass player Mariko Doi (of London via Hiroshima) and American drummer Jonny Rogoff, the lineup was complete. And the band wasted no time making their mark: it's already played SXSW, recorded a Daytrotter session and toured with Times New Viking, Tame Impala and its heroes, Teenage Fanclub. Yuck is even scheduled to perform on the much anticipated Weezer cruise.
Despite a few disparaging reviews by out-of-touch rock critics, the band has been entirely embraced by audiences. They dig it. And it's the fans who have pushed the band to the top of the indie underground. Yuck's debut was released early this year on the righteous Fat Possum label and it's been so well-received by the public that it's being re-issued this month with six bonus tracks.
Check out Yuck for yourself this Tuesday at the Firebird with White Denim and Porcelain Raft.