Yuck - Yuck (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Yuck (2011)

Fat Possum

It's a little bit surprising that it took this long for a band to call themselves Yuck. It's even more surprising that the band in question is not a bargain basement crust punk band, but in fact a highly enjoyable alt-rock band up to their necks in Dinosaur Jr. influence, and while that band are undeniably the closest point of reference here, Yuck are far from a tribute act. The band's self-titled debut has plenty to offer adventurous rock fans.

Yes, it's true that opener "Get Away" roars along like a lost B-side from You're Living All Over Me, but there's shades of My Bloody Valentine in the guitar tones, and an almost "phoned-in" effect on the vocals, similar to what is heard on Bad Brains' "Sacred Love".

As the record progresses, the band stretches their songwriting muscles and tries a few different things, most of which work. "Shook Down" actually recalls some of the more experimental tunes from Stone Temple Pilots' Tiny Music-era, while "Suicide Policeman" could have appeared on the Shins' Oh, Inverted World and few would have batted an eye. Meanwhile, the female backing vocals on "Georgia" and steel guitar on "Suck" help the songs stand even further apart from each other. There's even a hint of Black Sabbath in the sludgy, seven-minute closer "Rubber".

The production is worth a mention as well. It's neither slick or overproduced, nor so intentionally lo-fi to become distracting. Yuck sounds like a band playing live right in front of you, and that's exactly what these songs call for.

Yuck have released a record that hearkens back to a time when rock radio was exciting, and not excruciating. They're firmly rooted in 1980s college rock, but adventurous enough to not to be labeled as retro opportunists. They're one of the most promising groups to come along in some time, and should be checked out by anyone looking for something new, with plenty of nods to the past. Highly recommended.