The London based band, Yuck, has won over many fan’s hearts with their distinctive style. Like a blast of nostalgia, Yuck often incorporates some inspiration from older alternative bands. Their latest album, Stranger Things, is very much no different. The album is like a time machine –from start to finish you’ll be wondering if somehow you tuned into an earlier time.
As you listen through Stranger Things, you’re often left with a sensation of déjà vu. All of the songs sound, in some way, a bit old. Yuck has a really particular style and it shows. The band embraces the alternative scene of throwbacks like The Flaming Lips and Dinosaur Jr while mixing in a really fresh twist of creativity. While the band isn’t doing anything too flashy, Yuck is totally writing some great alt rock songs, while tossing in some intricate and often mesmerizing guitar lines and just enough layers of texture to really make Stranger Things a pretty damn special thing.
The album’s first track, “Hold Me Closer,” really exemplifies that ‘throwback’ vibe. “Hold Me Closer,” features some hefty vocal distortion on top of a flowing guitar melody. The lyrics are sentimental but blunt, “I want to be the very best friend that you have.” It’s a great song to feel angsty to –a bit of juvenile fun. The third track, on the other hand, demonstrates a bit more of the modern influence. Yuck eases up a bit and creates a mellower vibe. Yuck enters the role of shoegaze extraordinaire. The layers of guitars, keys, and airy vocal lines make for a pretty great listen –something you can just put on and zone out to. Overall though, the album shines most when Yuck capitalizes on their full range of sound.
“Hearts In Motion,” is the ideal song to hear Yuck play. In some ways, it sounds so stylized –some of the guitar riffs sound so familiar, maybe even campy. On the other hand, the big buildup in percussive energy and the amount of layers make for something a little more overwhelming. “Hearts In Motion,” is the a-ha! moment of Yuck’s Stranger Things.
More than likely, not everyone will appreciate the 90’s alt rock style paired with their mathy-shoegaze music. In perfect fairness to the dissenting opinion –Stranger Things may come off as either lame or niche. Admittedly, the first listen was slightly abrasive. Truthfully, Stranger Things is maybe even best in small doses. Yuck’s overall style is pretty tailored. Needless to say, know what to expect.
Fans of Yuck have another sweet album to listen to and more than certainly, Stranger Things will find itself a few new fans. The album draws on some older alternative rock and mixes it with some more intricate ideas reminiscent of various shoegaze and math rock bands. If you find yourself nostalgic for the 90’s alt rock scene, or just need a fairly accessible shoegaze album to listen to –Stranger Things can fulfill both.