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Yuck: Something Old Is New Again

Yuck is an exciting young London band whose songs often set distorted electric-guitar noise against understated vocals, sweet melodies, and loud-quiet-loud song structures. Does this sound familiar? To me, it sounds so much like 1991 that it’s hard to believe that the two guitarist/vocalists who lead the band, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom, were born in that year.

And this worries me a little. Twenty years ago, the explosion of alternative rock was based largely on a break with the past. Remember how Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” opened with Krist Novoselic butchering that old ’60s chestnut “Get Together”? If you were young then, you remember the way we cast ourselves in opposition to the Baby Boomers’ old guard. But if you are Blumberg’s and Bloom’s age, maybe you don’t see what all that fuss was about. You grew up with classic rock and alternative rock and punk and metal and hip-hop and techno and everything else all mixed up and available to you on TV, on the internet, in Guitar Hero, or wherever you wanted it. And maybe you liked all of it. If you eventually concentrated on one style over the others, you were making an aesthetic choice, not a political one. And I suppose that’s the way it should be. We fight over too many things as it is; maybe it’s better that we don’t fight about music and generation gaps.

In any case, Yuck doesn’t strike me as a nostalgia act. They sound like a vibrant, fantastic band. A 40-something friend of mine summed it up: “Right now, I’d rather listen to them than Yo La Tengo or My Bloody Valentine or the other bands they borrow from.” High praise.

Porcelain Raft and D/Wolves also perform.

YUCK: The Casbah, Friday, April 15, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $10 advance; $12 day of show.

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Yuck is an exciting young London band whose songs often set distorted electric-guitar noise against understated vocals, sweet melodies, and loud-quiet-loud song structures. Does this sound familiar? To me, it sounds so much like 1991 that it’s hard to believe that the two guitarist/vocalists who lead the band, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom, were born in that year.

And this worries me a little. Twenty years ago, the explosion of alternative rock was based largely on a break with the past. Remember how Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” opened with Krist Novoselic butchering that old ’60s chestnut “Get Together”? If you were young then, you remember the way we cast ourselves in opposition to the Baby Boomers’ old guard. But if you are Blumberg’s and Bloom’s age, maybe you don’t see what all that fuss was about. You grew up with classic rock and alternative rock and punk and metal and hip-hop and techno and everything else all mixed up and available to you on TV, on the internet, in Guitar Hero, or wherever you wanted it. And maybe you liked all of it. If you eventually concentrated on one style over the others, you were making an aesthetic choice, not a political one. And I suppose that’s the way it should be. We fight over too many things as it is; maybe it’s better that we don’t fight about music and generation gaps.

In any case, Yuck doesn’t strike me as a nostalgia act. They sound like a vibrant, fantastic band. A 40-something friend of mine summed it up: “Right now, I’d rather listen to them than Yo La Tengo or My Bloody Valentine or the other bands they borrow from.” High praise.

Porcelain Raft and D/Wolves also perform.

YUCK: The Casbah, Friday, April 15, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $10 advance; $12 day of show.

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