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  Stranger Things
  Mamé Records  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

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 something…

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 times.

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.

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   Concert: Sat.12.Mar.2016


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