Published Feb 15, 2011London, England's Yuck are the successors to the even more ridiculously named Cajun Dance Party, a teenaged buzz band that imploded in 2008, allegedly because of inter-band arguments over a girl. Frontman Daniel Blumberg and guitarist Max Bloom were wise to jump ship, trading in their former band's trite UK indie sound for one steeped in '90s alt-rock. Yuck might be latecomers to the '90s revivalism party, but their debut album arrives fashionably late, as if it was originally frozen in a block of ice 20 years ago and thawed for the renaissance. Yuck's presentation is a convincing one, to the point where you wonder if the early 20something members aren't just a front for some elaborate super-group comprised of the Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr., Flop and Teenage Fanclub. In fact, the Fannies (who Yuck toured with last year) have an omnipresent influence, most notably in the mid-tempo rhythms, clean guitar jangle and three-part harmonies found on both "Sunday" and "Shook Down," which sound indistinguishable, like forgotten Grand Prix outtakes. "Georgia" and "Rubber," alternately, are deliciously neck-deep in guitar fuzz, insinuating that grunge really could survive a second wave. The subtle contrasts throughout Yuck give them a leg up on many of the bands they pay homage to, thus allowing some welcome irregularity that's rare to find in such a guitar-driven album.
There's less focus on you as a singer in Yuck than with Cajun Dance Party. Do you prefer that?
Blumberg: Definitely. That didn't really appeal to me; I didn't have many opinions back then and then slowly I began deciding what I wanted to do, personally. Looking back on that feels like I'm looking at someone completely different. [Yuck] feel a lot more like a band, in many, many ways.
Where did your love for '90s music come from? I hear a lot of Teenage Fanclub, in particular.
I was born in 1990 and I don't know, someone recommended Smog to me and I just began listening to records that were made in the '90s. Drag City was a massive discovery for me. We're also really big fans of Teenage Fanclub and got to tour with them last year. That has been one of the highlights, so far.
I've seen the band's name spelled Yu(c)k. What's with the brackets?
Those are my piano songs. The brackets are just to separate the types of songs. We thought it would be a good idea to keep them apart, so I changed the spelling of the name because the songs written on piano are pretty different; we wouldn't play those songs live at a loud gig. (Fat Possum)