Hyuck hyuck -- that's the sound I'd make if I was a backwoods oaf, delighted with whatever had just been put before me. I'd exclaim "yuck!" if I were displeased or disgusted, but it takes a lot to make a near mentally disabled woodsman like me cringe. In reality, I am of relatively normal intelligence and am certainly not sickened by YUCK
, the group. Rather, we were all happy to have them in as our 100th guest on Me + You!
A show so old meets talent bursting with youth, would you believe it.
YUCK, are a 4-piece modern rock band.
Comprising of 3 more or less British members (Daniel Blumberg, Max Bloom, Mariko Doi
) and one conspicuous American big guy drummer (Jonny Rogoff
), as a unit they possess a very human quality, one that's a notch above awkward teen vibes but not quite in assertive adult territory. They are a little too worldly to be pigeonholed as collegiate but quaint to an extent of being singularly "indie rock".
Whereas a predominant focus of today's independent and experimental pop/rock artists has seemingly been fixed on the 70s/80s, YUCK draw from a more 90s palette of sounds. They are hard and dry, like a rock. Yet they are also soft and sensitive, like a genital.
It is this duality that informs their music as well as the visual presentation of the group. As a recorded group, their album artwork (all by Blumberg) is self-styled, jagged, and a bit abstract.
As 4 people, they look sweet and sour, as if you might've encountered some real sympathetic types on a bad day... Not to mention, their videos are both cute and vicious, even graphic at times. Full frontal female nudity is juxtaposed with faux-slasher flick imagery in the clip for "Holing Out"
(unfortunately, this song was not performed in the studio) while the video for "Rubber"
cuts rapidly between super-slow motion footage of dogs being thoroughly groomed and a girl washing up in the shower.
It's intriguing being sent such mixed messages, seeing as the 90s groups their sound is referencing were often a little more reserved or tongue-in-cheek than being bizarrely sexual and slack at the same time.
And whereas artists like Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Pavement, and even 90s Flying Nun groups were even less concerned with postured style and image in the wake of an embarrassingly commodified "grunge culture" (especially when their roots lie farther back than the year that punk broke), YUCK exist in a time when all of those sugary rock bands can be fetishized and stylized into something a little retro-gazing and forward-moving all at once.
With a four song set
of tracks that all begin with the letter "s" - "Stutter", "Sunday", "Suck", & "Shook Down"
in that order - the extensive 4th part of the interview with Tedward treats us to an exploration of the group's national identity and the ambitions that come it; a new British national anthem and theme song for the 2012 London Olympics are showcased.
YUCK are having a good laugh and as they are kind of on top of the world now, it's a laugh that can be heard loudly. They are a new band with lots of ideas and the world is facilitating the release of basically anything that comes out of them.
Luckily for the music listeners of today have met their match in a strident group whose prolific musical and visual output is streaming endlessly.
So stream this yucky shit at NOON on Monday, May 16th
- Me + You 100 featuring YUCK!