I first encountered Yuck a few years back, after the release of their sophomore effort Glow
and Behold, which was released way back in 2013. Three years is forever in band time,
especially for an English band. It seems like the closeness of that small island requires musicians to
release something every few months in order to not be forgotten. Or something like that – American
bands are silent for long stretches of time, but it seems like English acts are always releasing
And, in fact, Yuck have released an EP and a single in those three years, so i guess they are sticking
with an English release schedule.
Anyway, this is the first Yuck release that i have gotten in on the ground floor with, so to speak. Not
that their music is particularly tied to the release time. This is classic indie rock – catchy riffs, bouncy
drums, happy vocals. It’s not like they make electronica, which seems to suffer from a "flavor of the
month" attitude. (I mean, does anyone still make / listen to Progressive Trance or Jungle?)
I continue to be impressed with Yuck. This is a heck of a record and has dominated my playlists of
late. The songs are catchy, the riffs are crunchy, and the rhythms move along nicely.
The record starts with Hold Me Closer, which is the single they released prior to the record. It
technically came out on 8 July 2015. This is a fuzzy song that grinds along with high-pitched guitar and
loud drumming. Johnny Rogoff really goes for it here.
Cannonball really channels the spirit of Superchunk. The song is catchy and moves along at a
delirious pace, the guitars all over the place, the voice buried in distortion.
They slow it down for the ballad Like a Moth, Max Bloom almost crooning. It moves along
slowly, the guitars dancing around each other. Only Silence has a staccato drum beat and the
guitars sound like they are underwater. It’s not silent at all, and bounces happily.
Title track Stranger Things is a fun tune. Max Bloom sings “Stranger things have happened to
me since you’ve been gone” and guitarist Ed Hayes sings, “I hate myself, i hate myself” in an uplifting
lilting style. It’s the most upbeat song about depression since The Smiths broke up!
I’m Ok is another slower tune with the guitars grinding away. As i Walk Away is lighter,
the guitars chiming and bassist Mariko Doi singing lead here. Her voice is almost lost under the guitars at
The next song is one of the catchiest tunes i have heard in years. It called Hearts in Motion
and it makes me bounce at my desk or pogo around my condo. The guitars see saw in a transcendent
manner and the beat just pops.
Swirling is back to the chiming guitar, here sounding kind of like mid-era R.E.M. as the tune
jangles along. Yuck bring in a keyboard for Down which sways along nicely as Max Bloom sings
clearly and the guitars chime.
And finally the record wraps up with Yr Face, the guitars overdriven and fuzzy, but not fast as
Rogoff keeps a restrained and tapped beat. Bloom croons through distortion here, ending the album on
a fuzzy, noisy note.
And, as soon as it is over, i want to put it back on again. It is like Yuck looked at my CD collection and
took all of the discs of 1990s indie pop and distilled them down into one, pure CD. If you have read this
site for any length of time, you will want to go and get a copy of this.