88.1 WKNC’s Pick of the Week 1/31
The world of distorted rock is one that many bands dare to succeed at doing well, but ultimately fail at when it comes to executing at an album level.
It is a highly fickle sound that some attempt to manage, but fail to pick up an audience that becomes significant at a larger level. Even with all the disadvantages of taking a path that does not frequently lead to success, Yuck has embarked on this task.
As their debut album proves, they have all the potential of being a band that proves to be at the front of rock fans. Receiving accolades from the likes of the BBC Sound of 2011, Yuck had a lot to live up to, and their debut holds up astoundingly.
Yuck wastes no time when giving the audience a direct message about what they have come to accomplish. The first track, “Get Away,” kicks into gear with little hesitation. The punch from the guitars has a raw and rhythmic tone with a subtle screech that makes the track accessible and instantly likeable.
Starting off on a good foot, Yuck follows one of the best tracks on the album with another that tops the list. Changing up the overall feel of their lo-fi sound, Yuck shows a lot of heart and determination. Their guitar riffs are soaring and contribute to the momentum of the tracks rather than serving primarily as a placeholder.
The brilliant thing about the young group’s album is not that they deliver one hard-nosed track after another, but that they have a precise understanding of pacing and are willing to venture outside of their comfort zone.
Instead of over-saturating the listener with several songs in succession with the same tone and grittiness, Yuck strategically places tracks that are much slower, easier on the listener and expose an additional depth to the band not previously seen.
Pacing and changing up the tone of songs come to a pinnacle when placed perfectly into the middle of the album with the track “Georgia.” Nostalgic, poppy and high-energy, “Georgia” becomes a standout that demonstrates the raw talent of such a young group. Adding their female member’s vocal talent to the track demonstrate how they are able to diversify their overall sound.
For the lovers of 90s rock of a similar likeness, it is hard not to pin down the influences of 90s lo-fi acts within many of the songs. “Operation” quickly becomes one of those tracks that highlight the magnificence of artists before them, while demonstrating the band’s enormous amount of heart.
Yuck provides for a sound that is easy to compare to other lo-fi artists, yet unique overall. It’s simple, direct, distorted rock at its finest.
Ending off a fantastic album the right way, Yuck delivers the spectacular seven-minute journey “Rubber.” Full of anxiety and the scruff that overwhelmingly defines their sound, “Rubber” becomes an excellent finale to what is a magnificent debut. If anything, Yuck is supremely appetizing to anybody that wants to listen to rock as loudly as possible.
88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week is published every Wednesday in the print edition of Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.