April 29, 2011

That Was The Show That Was: Yuck | Paradise Rock Club | 28 April

Yuck, Paradise Rock Club, April 28, 2011
[We are pleased to welcome back to these digital pages longtime friend and former editor Ric Dube. Mr. Dube these days hosts the thoroughly wonderful More Lost Time rare indie rock podcast. Subscribe right here -- we heartily endorse his product and/or service. -- Ed.]

Oddly, even though Bryan Adams used to sing "everywhere I go the kids wanna rock," all he ever served up was that Canadian, Phil Collins-type ballad gunk. Maybe his observation was one of despair. "I'd like to help," he was trying to say, "but I only know these songs about Robin Hood."

And this is where we're at with rock n' roll these days. The kids want to rock but so many of the bands are still heavily involved with the bleeps and the la-la-la. Sure, there are plenty out there that would like to bring it, but they just don’t have the songs.

Which is why it was so damned exciting to see the audience at the Paradise last night love Yuck.

The beauty of Yuck is that the London-based quartet's songs are deceptively simple and extremely influenced by much of the best classic alternative rock of the '90s (Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Sugar, Pixies, Lemonheads) and thus, fantastically well written and about as common these days as a Drop Nineteens reunion.

For a quartet of near children -- two members of the band were without wrist bands, suggesting they are not of drinking age -- Yuck boasts a road-weathered confidence. The 45-minute set consisted of tunes from its debut record released in February, performed on a pair of Fender Jaguars with a self-assurance that follows from constant touring over the past 12 months throughout England and Europe. On one hand, tight performance sound can make an act seem unenergetic. But to Yuck's credit, this professionalism made the songs extremely accessible for anyone there to see the evening's headliner, Australia's Tame Impala, and not already familiar with the act.

Also, there's something to be said for pacing a set; at this early phase in its career Yuck is finding a performance style. For now that means keeping things moderately restrained and focusing on the songs for most of a set ("The Wall," "Get Away," "Suck") so that its finale ("Rubber") is that much more effective when it's time to really open up stage presence.

The few simple tones of "Rubber" throbbed within a haze of feedback, a young artist’s punk rock symphony about hoping away his virginity. The room groaned and surged, as if the floor might suddenly part to reveal a layer of fossilized music that might explain this as sound left behind decades ago, when Dinosaur Jr. and Galaxie 500 had procreated and left behind a fertilized guitar pick that was covered in volcanic Rolling Rock (your father’s PBR). Fans already familiar with every note became indistinguishable from the undetermined number of immediate converts. Both stood thoroughly involved -- closed eyes, heads slowly nodding in unison. -- Ric Dube

Yuck: Internerds | YouTube | Facebook | Flickr | SoundCloud

Previous Yuck Coverage:
Today's Hotness: Oupa
YouTube Rodeo: Yuck's "Get Away"
Be Prepared: Yuck | Self-titled | 15 February
Footage: Yuck's "Rubber" [NSFW]
Footage: Yuck's "The Base Of A Dream Is Empty"
YouTube Rodeo: Yuck's "Suicide Policeman" Live
Footage: Yuck's "Weakend"
Footage: Yuck's "Automatic"
Today's Hotness: Yuck
Today's Hotness: Yuck

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