In the absence of a decent effort by Tapes ‘N Tapes since their debut, it was time we got a straight-up rockin’ slab of Pavement-style indie pop. If the guitar hook in album opener “Get Away” and Daniel Blumberg’s dry vocal delivery don’t remind you of Malkmus, you are flunking Alt-Rock History 101. But Yuck doesn’t get so twisty-turny with its lyrics or music; this is heroically accessible ear candy, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The album is reminiscent of early Tom Petty material as well, updated with some trendy modern touches like the faux-retro keyboards and fuzzy echo haze, but between folk-rock ditties like “Shook Down” and the piercing electric leads in “The Wall” and the skuzzy strum/poppy vocal harmonies of “Holing Out” it’s like the second coming of Petty’s Heartbreakers. All that’s missing is that distinctive bratty frontman.
”Suicide Policeman” sounds disturbingly like Elliott Smith, which is almost cruel considering the title. With all the influences floating around in this concoction, this is the only song where it’s offensively blatant, but after a while you may get sick of instantly thinking ‘this sounds just like…’ at the beginning of every song. Yuck’s sunny musical disposition and plucky lo-fi trashiness go a long way, as does this batch of very likeable tunes, but even in the it’s-all-been-done age, the best artists muster a little more originality than this.