Yuck are back after a two-year gap since their eponymous debut. The first track from their forthcoming (and as of yet untitled) LP suggests a massive change and great development for the London three-piece, following the departure of their frontman, Daniel Blumberg, in mid-April.
The aptly named Rebirth drips with reverb which, coupled with the dreamy vocals of guitarist Max Bloom reveals that the shoegaze they created on their first record has evolved into dream pop during the two years since their last release; probably due to the the fact that Chris Coady, who produced Beach House’s 2010 album Teen Dream, produced this record also.
The short introduction sounds as though it is being played on a turntable, which is incapable of staying at the same speed, creating a deep soundscape to set the dulcet tone of the record. This laid-back, dreamy sound seems to hark to bands such as Sonic Youth, Beach House and My Bloody Valentine, which is, it would seem, where Yuck have taken inspiration for this song.
Bloom’s vocals aren’t hugely dissimilar to that of Daniel Blumberg on their last record – softly delivered and not easily audible over the reverb of the guitars – which contradicts the implied meaning of the track name. The choice of the title Rebirth would suggest a completely new, developed sound which, granted, Yuck have delivered through immersive ambience and the use of more guitar effects, but the lack of change in the delivery of the vocals would oppose this development. The vocals, although not wildly out of tune or horrifically awful, are too much like Beach House or Teenage Fanclub to be original, and are slightly whiney, especially during the line ‘I don’t want your pain/I want you, hard’ – it seems the new frontman is trying to use this almost-wail for some sort of artistic effect, and it just results in making the track vaguely insipid at times.
Yuck are no strangers to the pop hook, as they demonstrated with the chorus to their 2011 single Get Away, and it seems that this is still very much the case – with the chorus comes a hook that’s as memorable as a royal birth.
Drummer Jonny Rogoff manages to prevent the song from expanding into nothingness – his effortless beat keeps the echoed guitar from morphing into white noise with no structure, which could probably easily happen, given the expansive sound that Yuck create here. The hi-hat in the final segment of the song pushes it along towards its climax, which is a long, triumphant synth chord.
Overall, Yuck have been incredibly successful developing their music since their previous record, creating a track that sounds most certainly like them with dreamy, soft vocals and lyrics, but also shows that they have incorporated aspects of the dream pop genre into the shoegaze they had already established with their first album. Although the vocals can sound too similar to other artists and thus become trite, the track is most definitely a healthy rebirth for Yuck, and indeed bodes well for their second incarnation.