Shoegazey. Read any review of Yuck’s debut self titled album and chances are you’ll encounter that adjective. And for good reason, the London based boy/girl four piece emerge victorious with their first effort, crafting an easy-going sound and melodic charm that seems so off the cuff and effortless, that the term ‘shoegazey’ inadvertently springs to mind whether you want it to or not.
However it’s not always been quite so breezy. Three years ago, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom we’re juggling A-level studying with recording tracks for their then band Cajun Dance Party. When audiences failed to bite, they wasted no time moving on. The guitar/vocalist duo of Blumberg and Bloom enlisted the help of bassist Mariko Doi and drummer Jonny Rogoff, and out of the ashes of their former band came Yuck and with them a healthy amount of buzz.
The low-fi production quality of the album would lead you to believe it was recorded in a student bed-sit, which is no bad thing, in fact it adds to Yuck’s warm and fuzzy home made style. Hints of Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth leak through during the post-grungy opening tracks ‘Get Away’ and ‘The Wall’. A wistful, lazy sound confidently emanating from a band that doesn’t seem too bothered about winning you over, but does so anyway. Their lyrics of chasing love, thrown together with droning, fuzzy guitars take on a life of their own.
‘Holing Out’ ups the tempo with Bloom’s skewered guitar and Doi’s booming bass, before slowing things down with the tender ‘Suicide Policeman’ and ‘Georgia’, a fuzz-rock lullaby made perfect with floaty vocals contributed by Blumberg’s sister. The head-bopping, toe-tapping fun of ‘Operation’ elicits images of Yuck as garage rock kings or high school band heroes, a very believable image considering the ages of the musicians involved. ‘Rose Gives a Lilly’ plods on at its own contemplative pace with the band forgetting about lyrics all together and indulging themselves in their meandering sound, while closing track ‘Rubber’ plays the band out in a heartbreaking drone. Overall, Yuck’s distinctly faux-Americana college band sound wins you over at its own pace, proving that a game changer doesn’t always have to be fast, loud and in your face, Shoegazey works just as well.
Up coming tour dates.
17 – The Joiners, Southampton
18 – Bush Hall, London w/ Cults
20 – Library, Lancaster
22 – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
23 – Stereo, York
24 – Jug of Ale, Birmingham
25 – Night n’ Day, Manchester
26 – Arts Centre, Norwich
Not familiar with Yuck? Check out our gig preview here.