Yuck | Glow & Behold (Fat Possum)

Yuck 75It’s an excellent follow up and a great album regardless of what number album it is. 

Yuck 500

How does a band follow up a very well received and loved debut? A debut that seemed to help ignite a love affair with the fuzzed out, grungy, over-driven guitar of the shoegaze era and the likes of Dinosaur Jr.? Most would normally tour a lot, probably party a lot, start writing a follow up, and record it and hit repeat. London, England’s Yuck took a slightly wonky path. The band was originally formed by Max Bloom and Daniel Blumberg. After the success of the album and touring, main vocalist Blumberg chose to leave the band. That’s certainly a different path to take to a follow up. Bloom pressed on and reformed. All of this might make for a readymade excuse if the album is lackluster, being that one of the founders has left.

That would make a plausible excuse if the album was lackluster. Glow & Behold is not lackluster. It’s an excellent follow up and a great album regardless of what number album it is. The fuzzed out guitar is thankfully not gone, but it is scaled back a bit. The album is a much more melodic affair than Yuck; not to say that the debut wasn’t mind you. There is more focus on crafting intricate details in the music this time around vs. bashing you over the head with a wall of guitar. Being a fan of either approach, taking the more artist approach was the better choice this time, however.

On some songs, this is more of a shoegaze album than Yuck was even with the wall of guitar turned down a notch. Songs like “Rebirth” and “Middle Sea” feel like they belong sometime in 1991. If that is the effect they were going for, success. There is a lot going on musically. The melodies are much more intricate and in themselves tell a story. The guitars have a dual nature with one being fuzzed out and the other either an acoustic or a much janglier electric. They have incorporated strings and horns on tracks to help round them out. It’s subtle and used sparingly and totally works; “Memorial Fields” and “How Does it Feel” are great examples. Interestingly enough, the stand out track is the one that sounds like it belongs more on the debut. “Middle Sea” is such a thick blast of fuzz with an aftershock of a little speed, it’s really hard not to bob your head along with it. It was chosen as the first single, which was a wise move. It will pull in fans of the debut more than any track on the album. Tracks on this album should also translate well live.

The band should be commended for pulling it together when half of the driving force leaves. They could have phoned in a sub-par album and used the aforementioned excuse, but they pushed forward and have given us an excellent album. A- | Mike Koehler 

Stand Out Tracks — Lose My Breath, Memorial Fields, Middle Sea, Rebirth,

RIYL — Well, Yuck’s debut Yuck, Dinosaur Jr, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & Mary Chain.

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