Thursday, February 10, 2011

Young and Restless

Rolling Stone and Spinner have spoken, and they've spoken correctly. On February 15, Yuck will be releasing their debut self-titled album, and they're already garnering a not-so-yucky array of attention. This British quintet houses young but surprisingly decorated indie musicians Daniel Blumberg and his bandmate Max Bloom - a pair who were signed to XL Records at the age of 15. This time around and a little bit older, the pair and their new additions plan on spoonfeeding listeners a healthy dose of idealized 90s sounds that will cause us to remember effects that were loved, but more or less forgotten.

They're still only 20 years old, but these grungy indie rockers channel a sound that feels nostalgic and intriguing - a noisy but pretty mix of basement experimentation and homesick rock sounds. Moaning youthful harmonies and layered guitars make up their first attempt, along with a purposeful touch of that familiar 1990s grunge that tucks you into a relaxed daze previously triggered by the likes of My Bloody Valentine and early Radiohead.

It has deep moments of hardness and honesty, like in the racy video for the slow-ticking and eerie "Rubber" where we hear so much of our yesteryear in the groaning instruments. Mogwai has already taken a crack at this tune with a soft and breathtakingly ambient mix, in case you aren't feeling the crashes and bangs of the original. A little more flash can be found in the young, wave-riding anthems "Georgia" and "Holing Out On You", two sunnier tracks that feature typically 90s amplifier feedback and simplistic interweaving boy-girl vocals. "The Base of A Dream is Empty" picks up on The Cure's coined bouncy guitar loops, adding fuzz and lazy teenage vocals, just to secure the idea that they really, really are too young to give a crap. It sounds effortless and annoying in description, but really, these kids are a pleasant throwback.

These songs might be enough to get you mildly interested, but if you want that extra sweetness that makes your brain wheels turn and heart flutter, you need to check out "Daughter", a rising atmospheric ballad that takes a page from a more modern indie notebook. Orchestrated by the chorus phrase "I have seen my daughter", Yuck implements more of the transcendent harmonies and echoey percussion - bringing us back from the riding the surf to take a seat on the quiet beach.

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