Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Athena"- Yuck

The main talking point concerning British shoegazers Yuck continues to be the departure of former frontman Daniel Blumberg. In nearly every review of the band's second LP, 2013's Glow & Behold, Max Bloom's move to the lead was mentioned. And though Bloom acquitted himself and the band nicely, it was repeated ad nauseum that the band had lost their "frazzled energy." 

Any concerns of energy are forgotten when the faint strum of "Athena" comes into focus. The bowing electric guitars hearken back to My Bloody Valentine, if they had been prescribed Prozac. Even when he's wondering aloud "where do I stand?" in a moment of existential crisis, Bloom's cooing presence is comforting. While engaging, Bloom's quizzical crisis takes a back seat to the rest of the band's 6/8 shuffling. Jonny Rogoff's drumming tinctures the song's delicate frame without ever blotting it out. Tiny flourishes of what scans as Mellotron pull "Athena" further into the dreamworld, with only bits of fuzzy guitar to interrupt the trip.  Hearing Yuck in their current incarnation, Modest Mouse circa Moon & Antarctica comes to mind; when Isaac Brock's jaw was wired shut for several months and the band leaned heavily on instrumental passages. Yuck's taken the band's best advice to heart. When your group starts to fall apart at the seams, sometimes the best strategy is simply to "float on." 

Yuck's new EP Southern Skies is out this spring through Fat Possum Records and they're currently touring the U.S. performing new songs from the release.

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