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New Band Of The Month: Yuck

They’ve been labelled the hope for 2011 and have received near universal acclaim; so one week before their debut album is set to be released Guitar Planet gives you the low down on Yuck.

Monday, 21. February 2011  -  by  David Hayter

The Hype

When the BBC announced its Sound Of 2011 shortlist you may have noticed a distinct lack of guitar bands. British electronica, pop, rap, and even chill wave were all given new heroes but the fans of the six string were left with little to get excited about.

Yuck were the notable exceptions. The BBC was not alone in backing Yuck; they’ve received ringing endorsements from The Guardian, NME and Pitchfork (being named one of their hopes for 2011). It’s rare for a young band to gain the stamp of approval from the mainstream, the hipsters, the cultural establishment and the indie scenester simultaneously. More surprisingly, unlike their peers The Vaccines, Yuck haven’t garnered a backlash and have not been subjected to ridicule.

The Band

This isn’t the first time that Yuck have found themselves under the intense glare of the media. Founder members Daniel Bloomberg and Max Bloom were tipped for superstardom when they were schoolboys. As members of one time hype band Cajun Dance Party they recorded their highly anticipated debut album while studying for their A-Levels. Cajun Dance Party ultimately flopped and broke up without ever recording a follow up LP. The two men may not have achieved commercial success but they were given a lesson in managing expectation.

In Yuck Daniel assumes rhythm guitar and lead vocal duties while his little sister Ilana has been recruited to provide ghostly backing vocals. The London based band is rounded out by Mariko (bass), Max (lead guitar) and their portly but distinct drummer Jonny. The five piece were quickly signed by Fat Possum records in 2010.

The Sound

Daniel and Max appear four years older and four years wiser as they’ve been quick to admit that their taste in music has evolved and matured. The bright angular indie of Cajun Dance Party has thankfully been replaced by beautifully considered soundscapes that recall the shoegaze and alternative movements of the late 80s and early 90s.

Their seven minute single “Rubber” evokes My Bloody Valentine comparisons as the band’s distorted riffs create an imposing wall of melancholic noise which leaves Daniel asking “Should I Give In?”. On “Gloria” Yuck follow the post-Sonic Youth route of The Pains, At Being Pure At Heart, with an upbeat hazy rocker that sees Daniel and Ilana’s vocals intertwine amidst the dreamy textured guitar work.

If Yuck are sounding dangerously like Creation Records wannabees; your fears should be arrested by the brilliant “Get Away”. A vibrant pulsating track that features one of the year’s sexiest (and most simple) bass lines, which recalls Kim Deal at the height of her powers. On guitar, the discordant bluster of Daniel’s rhythm is overlaid with a sharp piercing riff that drives the chorus forward. “Get Away” is a perfect slice slacker pop, destined to be a favourite at this summer’s festivals.

Yuck aren’t short on variety or scared to make the tough decisions; “Suicide Policemen” is a charming and surprisingly crisp acoustic ditty, “Holing Out” is an effects laden rocker with a straight forward hook, and the painfully indebted Sonic Youth pastiche “Automatic” has been rightly dropped from the forth coming debut.
Yuck appear to fit right in with the post-shoegaze scene of 2009, complete with bouncy riffs, slick hooks and dense textures, but the question remains: can they pull all their work together around a harmonious sound without losing their creative edge? Unfortunately we’ll have to wait till the 15th to find out.

For Fans Of: Sonic Youth, Pavement, No Age, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, My Bloody Valentine, Male Bonding.

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