Band members (L to R): Max Bloom, Mariko Doi, Jonny Rogoff
One of many bands that I think deserves more recognition in today’s music scene would be that of the group simply referred to as “Yuck“. They’re from London, they’ve been together since 2009, and their first album came out in 2011. It was a stellar debut album featuring great songs like “Get Away” and “Holing Out”. I expected big things from this band back in ’11. After their debut album and the release of a single “Chew”, they disappeared from the scene for awhile. I sort of forgot about them until they released Glow and Behold.
I’ve made a concentrated effort to get out and see more shows in recent years. Fortunately for me, I noticed Yuck was slated to appear at the Riot Room in Kansas City this past Saturday. I met with my brother who was familiar with the venue and it.was.on. The Riot Room gets a thumbs up from me. It opens up to a lounge area when you enter and the stage is just a small flight of steps away. They have a circular bar that features enough tap selections to please even the snobbiest of craft brew snobs including almost the entire lineup of Boulevard brews. It’s an intimate experience with the band as you’re practically right on top of them when you enter the stage area. It’s awesome, there’s not even a backstage. Tough for me to imagine a better way to spend a Saturday night than enjoying a show at the Riot Room.
The first to open things up was a local group called Bummer. There was a about a 4 second intro and then the band started playing. They were loud, they were to the point, and they straight-up rocked! They had a sludge/punk-rock sound that was perfect for the venue. While they did their thing with little to no fan interaction, the crowd got into it and most of the crowd strayed away from the bar area to check them out. A three piece group that has a lot of potential based on what I saw. Follow the link and see for yourself. I highly recommend “infinite witches”. It’s what they opened with and you can see why cause it’s such a badass song.
After them, The Dead Girls performed. They’re classified as power pop-rock. A style I was not familiar with and one that I found I disliked after watching this group. Not saying they weren’t a good band but I didn’t think they really fit in in with the other two groups.
Onto Yuck, there was no drop-off in sound quality from studio to live show. The vocals and instrumentals were fantastic. They opened with what is in my opinion their strongest effort off of their most recent album, Glow and Behold. The song is “Middle Sea” and it’s a shoegazey, chill number that features the vocal talents of both Max and Marico.
Another great song of theirs that played about mid-way through the show is “Holing Out”. This was a a song that should have been a bigger hit than it was. It’s bliss for those who like to zone out to fuzzy guitars and general indie goodness. This version features former lead vocalist Daniel Blumberg, who I feel the band took a hit upon his absence. Their live version rocked just as hard, though. Max’s vocals and new member Ed Hayes’s guitar playing made this track sound as good as I thought it would.
Much like Bummer, the band did their thing with not a ton of between song dialogue or fan involvement. I’m fine with this. You’re there to see a band play good music and they did that and more. I can’t stand it when a group goes off on some lame story or some inter-group playful bantering that they think the crowd is into but actually couldn’t care less about. Yuck did invite some people to dance on the stage during one of their numbers and that was a nice gesture on their part. They all seem like cool, down to earth people and I’m rooting for them to take it to the next stage with their music. I’m confident they have the talent to do so.
There was one song I was hoping they would do and I was slightly disappointed when they didn’t. I understand why it was skipped as it may be because it came right before Blumberg left and may be centered around a fallout of some sort. I don’t know for sure but that’d be my guess as even as strong of a song as it is; if it represents a non-favorable time in the band’s career, I can see why they’d like to forget about it altogether and leave it in the past. It’s my favorite Yuck song and one I hope you enjoy as well. Few lyrics but the guitar riffs in this track are some of my favorite of all time. The last chorus with the guitar solo is one of the greatest musical joys these ears have ever had the pleasure of listening to.
Until we meet again, Yuck and Riot Room…