A few years ago, teenage indie pop band Cajun Dance Party had the industry in a tizz. They were impossibly young and their sound, marrying the flailing garage rock scene with the melodic sensibilities of Los Campesinos!, was quite literally too cool for school.
Fast forward to this time last year and, out of the embers of a sadly collapsed Cajun Dance Party, Yuck was formed. Those expecting more of the same were in for a surprise; they couldn’t have been more different. Their hair had gone lanky, they’d developed a fondness for denim shirts, and they’d almost certainly been listening to unhealthy amounts of Dinosaur Jr. But one thing remained; they were making subtle attempts at forging their own scene.
Tonight’s sell out homecoming gig marks the end of their first headline tour and yesterday, singer Danny Blumberg tells us, they finished mixing their debut album (“Errr. Yay!” he adds, in a typically shy mumble). So spirits, and expectations, are high.
And they deliver. Despite having only a handful of singles under their belt, their spiky mash of jangly guitars and fuzzy distortion swamps the room and is lapped up. Likewise, despite Blumberg’s one awkward attempt at on stage banter, there’s a distinct feeling of camaraderie amongst the audience. The older members of the crowd no doubt lured by the bands name dropped in reviews; Pavement, Teenage Fanclub… the younger ones clamouring for something a bit different.
There have been murmurings of a grunge revival for some time, but it never seems to happen. It’s as though electro has become too engrained in mainstream pop culture. But if anyone’s going to help spur it on, it’s Yuck. Their singles have been worked up into epic, growling beasts with luscious layers of reverb and distortion, dragging them from the stable occupied by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart to that of Girls. It’s a 2010, easily digestible, less angsty take on early ’90s alternative rock, with a pleasing dollop of early Ash added to the mixture.
Single Georgia is a lo-fi shout-along anthem; a britpoppish chorus fuzzed up to the max as a rakish Blumberg flops his curly fringe over the mic, bending over his guitar.
Highlight of the night is an extended, beefed up Suicide Policeman, while new single Rubber is hopefully a perfect ambassador for their soon to be released LP. They’ve only been together for a year but the record already feels a long time coming and, if tonight’s anything to go by, it could well be making the end of year lists in 2011.