We've lost something. I can't really describe what it is, but something in our society has failed us. Perhaps time is the culprit, refusing to slow down for even a moment, as technology evolves faster and life speeds on, towards some certain oblivion in the distant future. Have you ever heard the saying "as time goes by, things speed up"? These days, it's hard to be care free, hard to go a second without a thought or worry. We've done this to ourselves and there's seemingly no stop sign in sight. We're in the time of Facebook and Twitter, of instant gratification and busy, busy lives, with no room for reflection. Obviously things change, but when does the point come when things are moving too fast and we forgot how we got here?
This is where Yuck comes in. Yuck could be the start of something truly, truly groundbreaking. When I first heard Yuck
, I wasn't necessarily blown away as I was startled as how un
-2011 it sounded; fuzzy guitars, a freeing wind about it, recalling the indie-noise-grunge of the early 90's, where bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine were making names for themselves by fitting into the times. It's when, not what, that truly reveals the brilliance of Yuck
- music that turns back the clock in such a welcoming fashion. It's hard to appreciate our surroundings nowadays, compared to the simpler, less fear-based times of the rocking 90's. It's difficult, you know, to just stop for a minute and look around. We're in an age where patience isn't a virtue, where sitting on your front porch all day with a couple of beers and some tunes is a waste of precious time, as days melt into each other thanks to our vicious daily cycles. As a result, art nowadays almost always seems to have something to prove, some statement it feels it needs to make in order to be heard: after all, we're living in busy times. Yuck don't seem to care; their debut is filled to the brim with truly rocking songs, nothing overly ambitious or definite, songs with a sole purpose of existing to help us remember what it was like before this. The amazing thing about it is how Yuck seem to not want or realize this is what their music does; they're playing music for themselves and if anyone wants to join in on the backtrack, they're more than welcome to. It's a garage band excluding themselves from the pressures of modern society and playing from the heart.
Where Daniel Blumberg gets his inspiration for some of his lyrics I have no idea, but whatever he has to say somehow works, as his voice is always sounding like it is longing for something that isn't there. "The Wall", in all its kick-assness (I know) doesn't make any sense on paper, as Blumberg passionately yells "Try to make it through the wall / You can see me if you're tall"
, but maybe it's not supposed to; after all, this is a throw back to a less-thought-more-do time. Perhaps Blumberg is longing for the very thing that his band's album so poignantly resonates; the past. Through the first 11 tracks, Yuck make a strong album, filled with memorable hooks, easily remembered and inspiring lyrical lines ("All the time to kill / wake me up tomorrow / and if my sky is empty / I'm holding out for you
" is a highlight in the shoegazey "Holing Out"), and a sound that just simply hasn't been heard in over a decade. It's refreshingly retro, rock solid, and immediately accesible.
However, there's nothing in the 1st 11 tracks of Yuck
that could prepare you for the closer, "Rubber", in all its glorious noise. At first, "Rubber" sounds like an anamoly; an added-on-afterwards track that bleeds the album dry in its closing minutes. Only through multiple listens does "Rubber" become what Yuck
is all about; unbearably sad, a hazy journey through forgotten lands, as Blumberg's definitive moment comes when he reluctantly asks "Should I give in?"
in a swaying bravado not heard in, well, forever. The song is the perfect closer, ending the album with a message of "look where we are now, remember this" and also showing that the band displays more variety than the the 1st 11 tracks give them credit for. It's a brooding track, half Sonic Youth and half My Bloody Valentine, and it ends the album perfectly.
Yuck could very well accidentally start a musical revolution. The music that follows their hyped debut could very well change from those that came before Yuck
, as the album is a fluked rallying cry to recall a simpler time, and many bands may follow in their footsteps to attempt to revive a different way of going about things nowadays.