Yuck: Stranger Things

Toby Livsey reviews the latest release from Yuck

NUSU
7th March 2016

It’s instantly apparent that Yuck planned to form a imitation of the lo-fi Slacker Rock sound from the late 80’s and 90’s, heard in American bands such as Dinosaur Jr and Pavement, while also mixing it with the British bands of this era. The band produced perhaps a more grunge-focused version of this in their  self-titled debut. Although this is a great sound to pursue and imitate, there is a tendency for bands to copy this sound perhaps too closely. The result is a very bland rendition of that period that is far too similar to its influences. Luckily, Yuck manage to avoid this by taking influence from a range of bands and also making good use of fuzz and wah wah pedals, while also expertly creating a fuller sound by utilizing synthesizers.

The first two tracks, ‘Hold me Closer’ and ‘Cannonball’ make for an energetic start to Stranger Things with their light–hearted vocal lines, and strangely pop-punk atmosphere. These songs, at first, seem fairly unoriginal but they do pick themselves up with their rhythmically interesting drum patterns and catchy guitar riffs.

These songs, at first, seem fairly unoriginal but they do pick themselves up with their rhythmically interesting drum patterns and catchy guitar riffs

The songs that follow, take a similar approach, once again with a range of British and American influences. It’s easy to hear specific influences in certain parts of these songs, for example, ‘Only Silence’ resembles Green Day’s pre-American Idiot slower songs. ‘As I Walk Away’ instantly makes you think of The Cure and the riff on ‘Hearts in Motion’ is unmistakably similar to ‘Where Is My Mind’ by The Pixies.

The most interesting part of this album is concentrated in the last 2 songs; ‘Down’ and ‘Yr Face’ due to droning psychedelic aspects of its guitar parts and the elements of dream pop that are introduced by the keyboards.  ‘Yr Face’ is a perfect finale as it builds and drops throughout thus when it finally fades away as an ending it has a very conclusive atmosphere to it.

4/5

Toby Livsey

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