A lot of good music has been making it's way to my ears lately. Last week's band, Bear Hands, is still really fresh on my mind because the album is just fun in the same way a Flaming Lips album is fun. The new TV on the Radio single, Will Do has been playing quite a bit over the last few days, James Blake has been a really pleasant surprise and I've obviously been worshiping at The King of Limbs alter all week, too.
I can always take a second to think about where my obsession with music really began. I've been a "fan" of music for as long as I can remember. I grew up hearing The Police, The Cure, Tears for Fears and various other bands on the radio. I liked those bands and still listen to them, but my true obsession with music really began with one album: Nevermind by Nirvana. That may seem cliche, considering the widely accepted importance of the album, but it's true. The subsequent inevitability of listening to Nevermind obviously led me, and many others, to other bands of the time (and geographic area, as well) like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. We all know those bands. There are, however, a few bands that didn't garner so much exposure and only gained limited success. Bands like Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, The Melvins, Teenage Fanclub, Dismemberment Plan, Sebadoh and Dinosaur, Jr. flew under the radar or were simply mainstays on MTV's 120 Minutes. BUT, for me, the lesser know bands were the bands that interested me just as much as the wildly successful bands.
That interest began what's become some serious fun for me; finding new bands that play great music. . .and we took a self guided tour down musical memory lane because this week's band seems to have embraced the sound of the abovementioned bands to heart, and released an album to prove it.
Yuck is a London based four piece, comprised of colorful members. When I say, "colorful," I mean it. Daniel Blumberg, (lead vocals, guitar) and Max Bloom (vocals, guitar) are both from London. Bassist Mariko Doi is from Hiroshima, Japan and drummer, Jonny Rogoff (with a mean fro) is from The Garden State, New Jersey. Collectively, they form Yuck and, based on this fuzzy guitar, dreamy beats and freed noise that seems to recall the early guitar genius and "beyond comprehension" arrangements of musicians from a different time. Album opener, "Get Away" screams Dinosuar, Jr. and just a few seconds into "Operation" and you'll swear Yuck is somehow channeling Sonic Youth at their best. But continue through the album and you'll hear touches of The Cure and the fuzzy rock of bands like Jesus and Mary Chain or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. You'll also hear touches of Pavement and Red House Painters (Mark Kozelek is an unappreciated genius in my eyes) and, if you survive the album, it closes with a guitar drowned, Mogwai mixed song, "Rubber," which, in my opinion, may be the best song on the album. Did I mention that they signed to a pretty good label, Fat Possum. If you don't know the label, check out their roster and get back to me.
If it sounds like I'm harping on this band, you're right. The seem to be adept at wearing their influences directly on their sleeves without ripping any of them off completely. If you have any sort of affinity for the kind of music I just described, you should really check out this album. Here's the business end of my dribble:
Until next time . . .