Yuck’s existence as a band is perhaps best explained by the artwork for their recent single, ‘Hold Me Closer’. Depicting a shark devouring a dolphin, it’s ruthless and careless. Then, as their album artwork for ‘Stranger Things’ shows, there’s relief. Sit back, and rest Yuck, because you’ve had one hell of a ride so far. Just a couple of years after their excellent debut album, founding member Daniel Blumberg left the band. There was no time for flux, and they picked their heads up with a new guitarist, Edward Hayes, and recorded their second album ‘Glow & Behold’. Tonight, only two songs were played from that album in Sticky Mike’s in a trendy part of Brighton, perhaps telling of their quick ride so far. Tonight was another quick, yet enjoyable ride.
Their now frontman, but once lead guitar, Max Bloom has defied all odds and carried the band on. I did not personally even catch the second album until recently, and am surprised they have stuck around, as having the main member leave early on, despite so much praise, is always tricky. Opening ‘Cannonball’ is exactly what you would expect from the band, taken from their latest album ‘Stranger Things’. The guitar is overdriven to shit and distorted so highly you can tell the stress this band has been through. The guitar sings, Max sings and the rest of the band are visibly happy and enjoying themselves on stage. This is fantastic to see.
The crowd lapped up every song played in the relatively short set tonight in the excellent venue. Whilst their second album was merely a guest tonight, material from their newest album stood out compared to older material. Perhaps it is stronger, perhaps they enjoy it more – but all together as a performance, it just sound more ‘Yuck’. ‘Get Away’ is slung in the middle of the mix, which perhaps is their best song, and a testament to the quality of their new material. More importantly, a test of their confidence. You need confidence to make it as a band these days, and whilst a tad subdued compared to what is expected from the music, they are brilliant on stage.
They have their own gritty identity now, and I hope they’re here for long enough to make it count.