Illustration from Cap and Gown, the annual of the University of the South, 1895
Yuck are a fairly new band from London - they released a couple singles last year, and their self-titled debut came out on Fat Possum a couple weeks ago. The band seems to be getting quite a bit of buzz, easily attributable either to the provocative video clips they've released for the songs "Rubber" and "Holing Out" or to the fact that "'90s nostalgia" feels like it might be a "thing" this year. Or it could just be because their songs are good - I'm not saying that this is likely, but the songs really are pretty good.
The first and/or most prominent soundbyte you're likely to heard about Yuck is that they sound like Dinosaur Jr. This is an easy first impression to get, because the album opener on Yuck, "Get Away", really does sound quite a bit like something off Green Mind. But I think this comparison doesn't really hold across the length of the album, though - the acoustic ballads, boy-girl vocals, and indie-pop bent don't fit. The best comparison I can think of is to mid-'90s UK noise-pop bands like Boyracer, the Beatnik Filmstars, and the Pastels. This is certainly true of "Georgia", "Holing Out", and "The Wall", three natural indie-pop singles executed with a casual simplicity and tunefulness that makes Yuck more interesting than a '90s-revival band should be.
Yuck also mixes its influences well - a Pixies bassline fuses well to the J. Mascis-isms of "Get Away", and "Suicide Policeman" morphs from early Elliott Smith to early Belle & Sebastian in under three minutes. When the band does focus its influence too much in one direction, as on "Operation" (with it much-noted identicalness of the melody of Sonic Youth's "Teenage Riot"), I lose my patience a little. However, to a music fan like me that came of age in the early '90s when any any rock band with a couple practice amps could get a record deal, it's fun to see someone having fun with those very '90s sounds in a creative and satisfying way. If you have fond memories of 120 Minutes circa Matt Pinfield, check out "Georgia" (a Velocity Girl pastiche if I've ever heard one) and see if it doesn't scratch that "alternative nation" itch.
"Georgia" by Yuck