Originally published for Notion.
Losing your lead singer is never good for a band but when they’ve played a fundamental role in your music from day one, the whole thing can seem a bit worse. When frontman Daniel Blumberg announced his departure from Yuck earlier this year, the band decided to continue on as they were, with guitarist Max Bloom taking on fronting duties. This change has made for a markedly different second record. Glow and Behold is a much more melodic and polished record than the band’s fuzz-packed, self-titled debut.
Album opening instrumental tracks are generally a bit of a cliché and, while ‘Sunrise in Maple Shade’ is quite sweet, it is every bit that cliché. With the layering of different orchestral instruments, from horns to what I can only assume is a glockenspiel, over the recurring guitar riff, it’s very much an attempt to ease you in to a much more mature sounding Yuck than what we were used to.
‘Lose My Breath’ and ‘Rebirth’ show some signs of hope for the Yuck of old but the rest is all just a bit too early noughties emo and, let’s be honest, we would all rather leave those memories in the past. The album’s eponymous track, ‘Glow and Behold’, sees Bloom at his most emo while simultaneously doing his best Damon Albarn impression: “The end is coming soon I’m told / But I don’t really mind” and, by this point, neither do we.
Sadly, there’s nothing particularly exciting here. Yes, there are some decent My Bloody Valentine rips and there is the odd glimmer of something on the cusp of being great but Yuck never really reach the potential they showed on their debut. They’ve definitely taken a change of direction with Glow and Behold, but it’s not necessarily been a good one, and it rarely glows.
Glow & Behold is out now on Pharmacy/Fat Possum