|Featured Band (3): Not Yuck At All, As Dance Party Rejects Return with Shoegaze Revival|
|Written by DJ Space|
|Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:00|
Offensive? No. Likely to invoke expressions of disgust or to face immediate rejection? Probably not judging by the positive response this group's music has attracted on the web. Its name is a misnomer. The band Yuck (sometimes written "Yu(c)k") is "all the rage" in North London, England and its fashionable songs circulating on the web are only garnering love and praise.
"Don't pay any attention to their name – these north London newbies are not yuck at all, they're pretty good, sounding like a shoegazey Sonic Youth," Paul Lester wrote for the Guardian when he made Yuck his "new band of the day" in January.
"YUCK’s music is beguilingly interior, evoking inner monologues and sideways glances through eyelashes framed by burning cheeks. Vocals weave through a haze of reverb and feedback arches through frisson-filled dusky melodies," Ruth Saxelby wrote for Dummy.
Yuck is a London-based band with international roots that has been together for just over a year. The band has signed to Fat Possum Records and will release its debut album early in 2011. The record will be released in Europe by The Pharmacy Recording Company. UK single "Rubber" was released earlier this month, and the band will release “Georgia” backed with “The Base of a Dream is Empty” in the US through Fat Possum Records on November 23.
The band's youthful line-up consists of Daniel Blumberg (vocals, rhythm guitar), Max Bloom (lead guitar), Mariko Doi (bass), Jonny Rogoff (drums), and Ilana Blumberg (vocals). Its songs have been aired on UK radio by BBC 6 Music DJ's Lauren Laverne and Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens, and XFM's John Kennedy.
Fat Possum Records signed Yuck after tracks like "Automatic, "Daughter," and "Georgia," together with impressive performances opening for Modest Mouse and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, attracted deserved attention to the band.
"We've signed Yuck and to celebrate we're going to drink high life and release a 7" 'Georgia'," Fat Possum Records revealed in September.
"We have found our home in Fat Possum Records," the band announced on its blog in October. "They live in Oxford Mississippi in the swamps with a smith westerns and t model ford. we're going to be releasing a 7" in America of our 'Georgia' and our album's going to be released in January ..."
A limited edition single of "Georgia" was released in the UK earlier this year on Transparent Records.
Started by the former Cajun Dance Party's singer Daniel Blumberg and bassist Max Bloom, who is now on guitar, the band recruited Japanese Mariko Doi as bassist and backing vocalist and big-haired American Jonny Rogoff as drummer. Blumberg's school-aged sister Ilana is a part-time fifth member, contributing ethereal backing vocals, and the band's average age is shy of twenty.
Teenage band Cajun Dance Party only released one album, in 2008, and are best known for the singles "Amylase" and "The Next Untouchable," which the Guardian called "a new indie classic" in March 2007. Blumberg and Bloom recorded their first album, A Colourful Life for XL Recordings, at the age of fifteen while taking A-Level exams at University College School.
Drummer Rogoff left New Jersey to join the band after meeting Blumberg in the desert in Israel (Blumberg was wearing a Daniel Johnston T-shirt; Rogoff was wearing an Animal Collective one), and female bass player Doi, whose hometown is Hiroshima, just happened to be looking for a new band at that time.
"I was living in Israel in the desert and he [Blumberg] came to visit with some of his friends who live on a kibbutz," Rogoff explained to Spinner. "Then he Facebook messaged me afterwards, saying, 'How would you like to come and play music in England,' and I dropped out after about seven weeks at university and moved over here. It's been amazing ever since."
“I was in a band called Impossible Voyage, which was heavily influenced by a lot more progressive, hardcore bands,” he told Dummy. “But when I heard the songs that Daniel sent me I was like, this is the kind of music that I’ve always wanted to play but I’ve never really had the right people to play it with.”
“I’d just split up with my band Levelload and we already kind of knew each other. And they wanted a female bass player who could sing,” Doi said.
“Ilana is integral to the band but obviously she’s still at school. She’s got her A Levels to do and we’ve got to be really careful with damaging her. We were damaged very young,” Blumberg joked.
Blumberg and Bloom pen the songs, but they didn't write for Cajun Dance Party. “That feels like quite a long time ago, like a distant dream in a way,” Blumberg commented. “It was great, we made an album when we were 15, but obviously you change between the ages of 15 and 19." Before the band was formed, they spent almost a year writing thirty to forty songs, recording demo's in Bloom’s bedroom .
"My earliest memory of Max is when we had to go to the side of the room and wait for everyone to leave because we were being sent to the headmistress," Blumberg confessed in The Jewish Chronicle. "We were standing next to each other talking about how fit Sporty Spice was."
On his eighth birthday, Bloom's parents gave him a guitar. "I have no idea why. It was £20 from Argos and I still have it. I've been playing since, and as soon as I started liking more guitar-based music, I wanted to learn drums and bass."
"The most exciting things that made me want to form a guitar band was the music of the American movement of the late '80s and early '90s, combined with bands in Britain in the '80s like Magazine, Buzzcocks, Joy Division and Teenage Fanclub," Bloom said. "All that stuff going on in America in the '90s - Dinosaur Jr, Sparklehorse, Silver Jews, Red House Painters… I think it's the best decade for music," Blumberg commented.
"We want to make lots of albums," Bloom added.
"Rubber" is reminiscent of Scotland's The Jesus and Mary Chain, while "Georgia" sounds closer to New York shoegaze-revivalists The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, one of a wave of new bands inspired by music made a generation ago.
"Yuck do fit in with some of those outfits – only their version of shoegazing resonates with memories of the American bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr), or at least the British ones who wanted to be American (Teenage Fanclub, Swervedriver)," Paul Lester told Guardian readers, describing the band as "Dinosaur Jr fans creating their own Freak Scene."
That’s “slightly overcomplicating things,” Bloom told Dummy. “We don’t write songs thinking ‘we want it to sound like this’. We just want to write lots of songs,” Blumberg agreed.
During 2010, Yuck played summer festivals including Camden Crawl, Dot to Dot, Latitude and Field Day, and supported Best Coast, Japandroids, Avi Buffalo, Smith Westerns, Dinosaur Jr., and Built to Spill, as well as Modest Mouse in Amsterdam, making two appearances at the CMJ Music Marathon, New York, and a couple other US dates with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart in October.
Yuck finished its first ever headlining UK tour with a sold-out concert at London's Lexington at the end of last month.
Seven-minute UK single "Rubber" is a slower, sprawling track full of feedback and distorted guitars drenched in overdrive which builds momentum to a climax of Blumberg’s vocals and a magnificent guitar crescendo. "Should I give in?" Blumberg's vocals ask. Directed by Michael Reich, the video is a curious mixture of dog-grooming and nudity. Listen to the track here or watch the video here . The track is remixed by Scottish indie instumental band Mogwai here.
Instrumental "Dark Magnet," which also features on the UK single, is evocative of New York's experimental rock band Sonic Youth.
The peaceful "Automatic" (from the YU(c)K tape EP Weakend on Mirror Universe) is suggestive of the space rock of Spiritualized. "I was always an automatic don't assume I'm in control," Blumberg sings. "The demo of Automatic is one of the finest things I've heard in this young decade," Paul Lester wrote for the Guardian. Listen to the track here or watch the video by Jacob Perlmutter here.
“Suicide Policeman” is a sadder, gentler track featuring gently strummed chords and vocals as Blumberg sings, “I just want to let you know I could be your suicide policeman.” Listen to the track here.
Listen to the nostalgic "Sunday" here.
Yuck they are not... really.
http://yuck.bandcamp.com/ - Website
http://myspace.com/yuckband - Myspace
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 09:14|