DON’T let the name dissuade you: Yuck is really good.
In fact, their midnight set Saturday night at Wild Wing might be the best set you’ll hear all Stopover weekend.
Hailing from London, England, Yuck comprises Max Bloom (formerly of Cajun Dance Party), Jonny Rogoff, Mariko Doi, and Ed Hayes.
Their third album, Stranger Things, just dropped in late February and is the first without Daniel Blumberg fronting the band. Their personnel changes led to a refocusing on the music itself.
“I think we just wanted to make ten or eleven songs that would be really fun to play live, and just try and be as instinctive as possible with it,” Bloom explains.
“With our last two albums, we had the tendency to get slightly carried away in the studio, but with this one I think we wanted to just stick to the main parts of the song and try not to go beyond that.”
Stranger Things sticks to Yuck’s familiar sound of bright fuzz-rock, particularly in the eponymous title track. Just as the band intended, the songs are simple and don’t get carried away in experimental sounds.
Like their previous songs, this album’s offerings invoke ‘90s shoegaze sounds and draw comparisons to Built to Spill, Pavement, and Teenage Fanclub.
However, this album is notable because it was produced by the band themselves and recorded in Bloom’s parents’ house.
“It’s always challenging recording by yourself because you can do 100 takes of an insignificant guitar part and not have someone else there to say, ‘That was the one, let’s move on,’” notes Bloom.
“That being said, it was a huge joy being able to do it by ourselves and not have any outside influence.”
The Stopover show marks Bloom’s first time in Savannah, but he’s gotten a taste of that Southern charm even from across the ocean.
“Me and my girlfriend stayed with a really friendly couple through Airbnb here in the U.K., and they were telling us that they lived in Savannah for many years,” he recalls. “He was a professor of fine art, I think, at the university there.”
Stopover is Yuck’s first stop on an extensive tour that takes them to SXSW—the original vision of Stopover being to get SXSW bands to “stopover” in Savannah on their way to Austin—and from there across the United States, and back to the U.K.
“Touring and recording are kind of polar opposites in my mind,” Bloom muses. “I really enjoy touring because it’s just fun to play shows and be on the road with your friends, but recording music is something that makes me feel really fulfilled.”
The fulfillment Bloom feels from recording the album will surely be evident at their show, which promises happy, danceable vibes.
Their tour support, Big Thief, takes the Wild Wing stage Friday at 10 p.m.