Hey, is that a basketball in that hanging basket? Hey, we might die if we skateboard down this hill! Hey, we're not actually children again; we're just listening to a three-fifths British (Two-fifths New Jersey and Hiroshima) noise pop concoction, reviving the sweet heart of early 90s American indie. Lapping up immediate media tension from their Cajun Dance Party past, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom have created a theme tune that could have made Happy Days bearable.
Openers ‘Get Away’ and ‘The Wall’ immediately bring a smile and spark off a memory of simpler times in the listener. Perfectly plain tunes sell themselves through careless repetition and tied together with an underlying distortion of upbeat vocals, Yuck set themselves apart from a generation of electronic try-hards and moralists.
‘Shook Down’ follows in a Fountains of Wayne (Forget ‘Stacey’s Mom’) style California bring down of broken chords and swell choruses, bringing the album to a premature deflation before sawing itself back into force through ‘Holing out’. Post punk guitars shudder the album along into ‘Suicide Policemen’, a sugar-tinged surf pop flow combining the most delicately simple chords and xylophone, lulling the album into a melancholy rest.
Upbeat smiley rock of ‘Georgia’, leads the album into a couplet of Sparklehorse-esque beach dreams in the form of ‘Suck’ and ‘Stutter’ swaying from verse to verse along refreshingly damp drum beats and coarse, salty singing. ‘Operation’ fuses Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo in a mad cool indie hip creaker and soars the exciting debut into ‘Sunday’, a morning-after contemplation of “Sunday”, demonstrated through heart-felt lyrics of “Someday you’re gonna take me back”, reminding us of the classical influences of garage-band song writing.
Winding down and leaning back into armchair of the teenager’s mind, ‘Rose Gives a Lily’ displays the instrumental skills of Yuck through beautifully harmonic guitars enveloping the album with a stamp of content. ‘Rubber’ provides an experimental encore to the album with hazily droning vocals clouding into a dark mix of seamless distortion and textured drum patterns: a reconsidered mood conveys itself through lyrics, “Yes, I give in”, solemnly replacing a happy ending with a sad one and bringing the album masterfully to a close through smashing cymbals and minor elevations. Yuck have blessed us with a reminder of how Americans used to veil us in salty blonde hair laid back surf rock in a way which we could never quite capture. Until now, of course. - Henry Johns
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