Yuck – YuckFat Possum, 2011
Acquired: Christmas present, New, 2011
This was my favorite album from the last year. It may not have been the most artistically daring or genre defining album, but it was easily the most enjoyable and the one I listened to the most. There’s gotta be an equation for how many times you can listen to an album before it wears out, and how that solution verifies the worth of the music. In the case of Yuck, I made sure to avoid wearing it out by swapping it out with something else every week. I did this because the album was special, something that had grown near and dear to me. I didn’t expect to fall for this album as hard as I did, and when it happened, I made sure not to fuck it up.
Relationships with albums are a lot like relationships with girls. There’s a delicate balance that must be kept, otherwise you run the risk of being overbearing, smothering, and well there goes that. But you’ve also gotta give’em attention too. A lot of attention (BUT NOT TOO MUCH). If all goes well, you can nurture this relationship for years. Relationships with albums (like girls, natch) often start off passionate and wild. You just can’t get enough of each other. She…er, the album will be in your CD player for days and all you wanna do is shout from the rooftops “HOLY SHIT I LOVE THIS RECORD SO MUCH.” And then after a couple weeks, well, the honeymoon is over. You’ve gotta…see other…albums. But, ok, ending that analogy right now. But you get my point, right? There is always such a thing as too much of a good thing. No album, I don’t care who you are if you say so you’re lying, is unwearoutable. Every album has a breaing point. I mean, what if you were a huge Beatles fan and got stuck on a desert island with only Rubber Soul in your walkman? You would eventually get sick of it. You’d never wanna listen to Rubber Soul for as long as you lived and probably be like “Man, I wish I brought the White Album because at least that one has all sorts of fucked up weird shit to analyze.” Back to Yuck though, Yuck didn’t wear out. It really, really could have but I planned ahead and avoided it, but it could have. However, it would have taken a very long time because this album rules.
It rules because it feels geared to the type of music nerd I am. It’s like some lost gem dug up from some 1990s basement. It’s the sum of the band’s influences, and that sum ends up being something surprisingly fresh and honest and real. There are no bones made about the inspiration. No attempt to cover up the Yo La Tengo or the Lemonheads or the Sebadoh. All the energy this band would spend on posturing trying to pretend they weren’t inspired by so and so is instead put into crafting a set of songs that just slay. It’s like a guided tour of indie rock, from simplistic upbeat punk-tinged jams like “The Wall” and break-your-heart indie power ballads like “Shook Down” and “Suck” and pure indie-pop bliss in “Georgia.” Then there are the songs that sneak up on you after like 10 listens like “Operation.” And the way the guitars sound on this album, holy shit. And how I namedropped three bands up there but really, this album draws from 80s and 90s indie rock as a whole, and it blends everything together pretty seamlessly despite the surprising sonic diversity and the rawness of the sound.
Every song is great. Or I love every song. Either/or. Even the B-Sides are great (oh yeah, the album comes with a whole separate disc with six b-sides) because they are straight-up b-sides. They don’t really fit on the album, but on their own they shine. Like “Coconut Bible,” holy fuck. What a jam. It’s such a nice, refreshing treat to have these new jams after absorbing the old ones so thoroughly.
And since there's a bonus album, here's what a true b-side sounds like!