Courtesy of the artist
In "Soothe Me," the U.K. band Yuck crafts a distinct mix of volume, sensitivity and precocious naiveté.
In "Soothe Me," the U.K. band Yuck crafts a distinct mix of volume, sensitivity and precocious naiveté. Courtesy of the artist
Song: "Soothe Me"
CD: Yuck (Deluxe Edition)
Musical influence is cyclical and recurrent. During a time of wistful looks back at the rapidly retreating decade of '90s rock, it's just as prudent to look expectantly to the gangs of new talent ready to inherit a legacy.
Yuck's knockout self-titled debut, released in February, didn't pack quite enough punch for the young British players, so they've repackaged the album with six new songs for a "deluxe" edition due out Oct. 11. The bonus tracks are hardly filler, with each more than holding its own, and "Soothe Me" stands as one of the more interesting examples. Leader Daniel Blumberg explores the polarities of his vocal range, with a deeper drawl only heard on the original album in "Suicide Policeman" or "Sunday." Blumberg's tone is gravelly, casual and uncharacteristically listless, but he quickly alternates it with a plaintive high-register cry: "Soothe me / Don't use me / I'm not your oxygen." The contrast is affecting.
Though the comparison isn't made often, R.E.M.'s recent dissolution makes Yuck seem all the more valuable. Filling the void with a distinct mix of volume, sensitivity and precocious naiveté, Yuck is there to remind listeners of a time when distorted guitars and unsullied sincerity were gripping enough.