Wednesday, March 9, 2011

'Yuck' - 03/03/2011 - Loppen, Copenhagen

It really shits me when a band produces a well-crafted; captivating album that is followed by a sub-par, lackluster concert. If you’ve already musically and emotionally invested in a band, an average or shitty gig can often be a deflating experience, feeling as if the band has inadvertently betrayed you in some weird way. Such is the case with 90’s revivalists Yuck, as they took the stage at the quaint ‘Loppen’ in Copenhagen last Thursday. After having the album on immediate rotation since its release in early February, I won't lie, I was pretty psyched to see these guys live.

The night began with UK solo act Porcelain Raft whose lonesome stage presence was shrouded by an abundance of atmospheric noise that bounced from one graffiti-stained wall to another. Despite the lack of crowd atmosphere, the sound was pretty good and he proved to be a decent warm up act, wetting the appetites of the few Yuck fans in the venue. At around 11pm, the headliners sauntered up on to the tiny stage, picked up their instruments and launched straight into their lead single ‘Holing Out’. Rather than acknowledging his surroundings, a possibly stoned Daniel Blumberg stood there lifeless, hunched over his microphone, murmuring the lyrics to the songs off the Yuck self-titled debut. The thing that annoyed me the most about this concert was not even the band’s reluctance to interact with each other or the audience, but rather the image they might have been trying to invoke by doing this. That ‘too cool’, aloof pose of 1990’s grunge bands - and where seminal acts like Sonic Youth and Nirvana may’ve been able to pull that off, it didn’t work all that well for Yuck. With that, there was little for the crowd to feed off as an unsettling silence and stillness filled the venue between tracks. However, for what the band lacked in stage presence and sociability they made amends for in the quality of sound; the rich, penetrating distortion of Blumberg’s guitar and the undeniably infectious melodies that captured that quintessential 90’s alt rock sound of the recent album. The highlight of the show and incidentally the album too was the closing track ‘Rubber’. Admittedly, I thought the band would have struggled with the live performance of such a finely produced track, but I was proven wrong. It even had Blumberg, bassplayer Mariko Doi and guitarist Max Bloom moving about the stage. The 8 minute song, followed by an extended slur of noise emanating from the guitar’s amplifiers closed the show. The band walked off stage without so much as a glance toward the clapping audience and didn’t bother to return with a song or two more. Perhaps I’m being rather harsh on the four-piece, but it’s always nice to know that the band appreciates the fans support as much as the fans value the music.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

School Knights - 'Fuck The Beach'

I don't think School Knights were striving for originality when they wrote this song. By naming this track 'Fuck The Beach', one gets to thinking that this Colorado act are more than aware of the genre they fall into. But despite the song's generic prowess, god damn, it really is a lot of fun to listen to. Much like the fuzzy pop-punk sound of the second Wavves album,'Fuck The Beach' follows a similar, but certainly effective formula - the echoing 'oohs oohs', the abundance of cymbal thrashing, the distorted bar chords. It only seems appropriate that the album be released in the summer (American) of this year..check it out yo,

School Knights - Fuck The Beach by Music For Your Mind