Review of Yuck – “Glow and Behold”
The album, “Glow and Behold,” is a solid sophomore effort for a band going through big changes; while not likely to generate much buzz amongst major bloggers, this album, with a sound fitting the fall season, is guaranteed to be a perennial slow and steady burner.
Two years ago, Yuck emerged on the scene from England with their debut eponymous album establishing them as a major buzz band, one reminiscent of indie icons such as Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, and Built to Spill. And now they return to the scene, but without their original front man, Daniel Blumberg. Instead of replacing Blumberg with an outside singer, Max Bloom took over, and with fine results.
As is often the case with bands returning from a critically acclaimed debut album, Yuck’s second LP comes out with a notably different sound. Perhaps what is most noticeable is the addition of horns through out various songs. For many this would signify a large development in progression or change. But for Yuck, the addition of horns only adds to the shoegaze feel of their sound. This second album has less aggressive bite, but has soothing tones that fit the fall release date of the album.
The album introduces itself with a gorgeous instrumental song, “Sunrise in Maple Shade.” With an acute ear for guitar and keyboard layering, this first track begs to be longer than the short three minutes that it lasts. This first track sets the mood of the rest of the album’s sound, which identifies for me the most with fall. The slow build of guitars added with the synth and horns demonstrate perfectly the slow and building beauty of maple and oak glowing yellow and red in the fall time.
The most aggressive track on this album, and perhaps most reminiscent of Yuck’s debut album is the single “Middle Sea.” This song is a classic in lo-fi and shoegaze, and would well have fit on Yuck’s debut, but the song fits well with the rest of the album’s autumnal tendencies while still tethering this much changed band’s sound to their original buzzworthy fuzz-rock.
Overall, this is a solid album. It won’t be a major buzz album like Haim’s debut or Au Revoir Simone’s return to the scene after four years. It won’t compete for the same attention as Chvrches’ debut. But it has a certain amount of staying power, a certain amount of seasonal gusto that will bring this album out for fall music sessions for years to come. Glow and Behold is a well-crafted and highly listenable album, perfect for a cool dry night with heavy wool sweaters.
by Austin Dixon