Song of the Day: Yuck – The Wall

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “The Wall” by Yuck from the 2011 self-titled album on Fat Possum.

Yuck will be performing live on KEXP during our SXSW broadcast from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop on Wednesday, March 16, at 12:30 (PST).

Yuck – The Wall (MP3)

The London-based band Yuck gets a lot of comparisons to Dinosaur Jr., but to their credit, their sound isn’t the same the Dinosaur Jr. some of us thrilled to in junior high. Yuck is honestly taking 90’s alternative rock and propelling it forward, which is an odd thing, considering Yuck’s leader, Daniel Blumberg, was barely 10 when that decade ended. Now at age 20, Blumberg is already on his way to becoming an indie rock veteran himself, as he’s on his second project after his former buzz band Cajun Dance Party disbanded. Perhaps helping to differentiate Yuck’s sound are the band’s other members, bassist Mariko Doi from Hiroshima and drummer Jonny Rogoff from New Jersey, whom Blumberg met on a kibbutz in Israel recently before. Sister Ilana Blumberg occasionally backs on vocals. Regardless of their backgrounds, though, all members of Yuck clearly share a love for the fuzzy rock sounds of 80’s and 90’s bands like Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, The Replacements, Sparklehorse and even Jesus and Mary Chain.

There is something oddly familiar about today’s featured song, “The Wall.” The guitars are fuzzy, and the lyrics are repetitive, but something interesting happens here. The guitars and vocals distort at the exact same time in a way that’s a little disorientating. Disorientating in a good way. It’s hard to get a handle on what exactly is so great about this song. It begins with drumsticks clacking, and vocals, then a loud, melodic, distorted guitar. The lyric “trying to make it through the wall” is repeated so many times it takes on a life of its own. There are a few other lyrical lines, which keep the whole thing from seeming too repetitive, but the focus is definitely on the rhythm of the song. Add a few nicely timed screams and screeching guitar solos, and you have a real thing.

Yuck will be all over SXSW this week, and will be one of our first guests when they perform live during KEXP’s broadcast from Mellow Johnny’s on Wednesday. Tune in at 12:30 (Seattle time) for their performance. Or check them out in Seattle at Neumos with Tame Impala on April 22 (we’re telling you now: this show will sell out!). Other dates can be found on their blog and MySpace and Facebook pages. For now, here’s their new video for the album’s opener, “Get Away”:

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