Wednesday, February 16, 2011

There Is A Lot To Like About Yuck

When things don't work out with the clean-cut boys image you established, sometimes you have to get dirty and then say Yuck. That seems to be what Cajun Dance Party's Daniel Blumberg (guitar, vocals) and Max Bloom (guitar, vocals) decided to do.

The London indie rockers picked up Markio Doi (bass, previously Levelload) and Jonny Rogoff (drums, previously Impossible Voyage) to kick off their self-titled debut album, Yuck, with Fat Possum. Blumberg's sister (Ilana Blumberg) even stepped up to provide some backing vocals.

While it is anybody's guess whether Cajun Dance Party is dead (my guess is it was dead when Meakin said it was only to pay for school), there is no guess what Blumberg and Bloom wanted to do. They wanted to make it about the music — the blistering lo-fi kind that revives early indie garage bands.

The new album isn't completely original in terms of tone as a result, but it does pick up on a sound that many people thought was abandoned too early. Well, no more. Ever since Blumberg and Bloom started writing together, they've belted out more songs than the 14-track album could hold.

Don't be afraid to get dirty and grab a big pile of Yuck.

The band has already put out three videos to promote their album, one of which stirred the YouTube pot for brief nudity in their stylized and beautifully disturbing Rubber video. But that was three months ago. There have been plenty of drivers for this band since, including this live session jam of Get Away, the first track on Yuck.

Across the entire album, their roughest stuff works. Get Away provides a great introduction, along with The Wall, and Holding On. Georgia, with the backing vocals emphasized enough to be considered a near duet, is striking in its steady simplicity. Suck is a smartly delivered anti-ballad slowdown.

While those six are favorites, there is another side of Yuck that still departs but almost pays some homage to their past life. Shook Down, Suicide Policeman, Stutter, and Sunday are much lighter on the delivery than the others. The bonus tracks include the addictive heavy jam Dark Magnet and Cousin Corona. The latter is solid except for too much push on feedback during the chorus.

There are a whole bunch of other tracks that didn't make the album but did make a previously recorded tape EP. You'll find some more anti-studio brilliance with works like Weakend and Coconut Bible. You'll hear some of these songs during the European tour. As for the States, it's still anybody's guess when the band will start to book it.

Yuck Gets Better And Better With Heavy Rotation At 8.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

A handful of reviews from the U.K. to date have been wildly positive even if they distinguish Yuck as decidedly American (despite only one-fifth of the members being from the U.S.). Everyone here thinks it's smart. Or maybe it's just that all things Yuck tend to stick. And then, they get stuck in your head.

Yuck is available on iTunes. You can also find Yuck on Amazon. From the Yuck band blog, several non-album tracks are available for free download, but be prepared to put up with a some hassle from a third-party popup contest promotion. If you do like the band, you'll certainly love the blog. They even have a short post that honors their first official fan.
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