Yuck – Stranger Things (Balaclava Records, 2016)
The days when the minds of Max Bloom and Daniel Blumberg came together to create Yuck’s first self-titled album are gone. Blumberg left the band to pursue other projects, but for one moment in time, this London four-piece captured the attitude of mid-’90s indie rock subculture 15 years after the era ended. With Bloom now providing the bulk of the vocals and songwriting, Stranger Things sounds rigid and overly formulaic compared to their vulnerable and candid 2011 album. By distorting the vocals in each song, the album tries to sound hip but ends up sounding more like it’s drowning under water. However, songs like “Cannonball” and “Hold Me Closer” are clever and drenched in so much fuzzy distortion you could almost pet it. Stranger Things is like a less annoying Weezer, which isn’t exactly a bad thing.
Trial Track: “Hold Me Closer”