“Thanks for coming out to our album launch!” Yuck’s new frontman, Max Bloom, is underselling the evening ever so slightly.
This is less a relaunch than a rebirth for a band that haven’t enjoyed the smoothest of rides towards their sophomore full-length – their old singer, Daniel Blumberg, departed suddenly earlier this year.
A slew of new tracks make the cut tonight, and it was always going to be interesting to observe what’s been retained from Yuck MKI, and what left with Blumberg (the answer to the latter, sadly, is pretty much anything that was endearing about that first, self-titled LP).
‘Yuck’ less wore its influences on its sleeve than had them tattooed on its face, but there was something irresistibly appealing about the way the band managed to bring them all together and repackage them in an impressively punchy, if unoriginal,
manner. These new songs, though, are sadly turgid in their inferiority to the artists they ape.
it does so with little of the Irish outfit’s penchant for sonic density.
Bloom himself, if nothing else, is a far more affable frontman than his predecessor. I wasn’t impressed with Blumberg’s new venture,
Hebronix when I saw him open for Low earlier this year; on tonight’s evidence, perhaps both sides need to think about building some bridges.
The playful concealment certainly adds to his mystery and his allure so far. It’s no secret that Beal struggles with the concept of fame and his need to self-sabotage when things get a little too slick suggests that he
constantly fights an internal battle;
part of him desires to be a full-on somebody and part wishes to revel in being a resolute outsider
‘Wavering Lines’ epitomises this, and while honeyed and even a mite corny on record, it’s delivered with a sloppily loose arrangement and a throat-ripping shout tonight,
as if frustration forces him to sully any layer of sugar that might be on offer.
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