Top 5: Yuck

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Fat Possum Records
Street: 02.15
You’d be hard-pressed to find a review of Yuck’s self-titled debut in which the reviewer doesn’t mention the band’s admiration for ’90s indie rock. Fine. I just did it. But dwelling on Yuck’s meticulous sound doesn’t fully explain why this record was so beloved this year. After all, it’s not like they are the only ones who’ve been copping Dinosaur, Jr’s sound lately. From lead track “Get Away,” the sonics are going to scratch an itch for those nostalgic for pre-grunge guitars, but it’s during the pre-chorus when the song starts to burrow in. When Daniel Blumberg sings “No, I can’t get away,” even though the lyrics don’t exactly paint a picture, you know—from the way he sings and the way the guitar whines—exactly how he feels. It doesn’t matter that I’m a decade removed from the stuff that these 20 year olds are still going through: The songs communicate, without sugarcoating, the feelings of being a teenager—exuberance, infatuation, restlessness, angst—and do it in a supremely catchy way. Admittedly, the album is a bit uneven, but a good deal of the temptation to hit the skip button is to get to “Operation” more quickly. Simply put, Yuck has three or four of the best songs of the year on it. Not only do I get choruses stuck in my head, I get the whole album stuck in my head. I find myself singing some kind of Yuck medley like a crazy person. By the time the chunky, molasses-paced closer “Rubber” comes around, the answer to Blumberg’s singularly endearing and nasal “Should I give in?” is obvious. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go be a teenager again.
–Nate Housley