Glow And Behold is grander than Yuck’s earlier work, but lacks the sparkle of their debut.

Sonically and personally Yuck have come a long way since their first album. Singer Daniel Blumberg has departed for solo endeavors and guitarist Max Bloom has stepped into the shoes of lead vocalist. Their second album features strings and brass and echoey vocals that are far removed from their earlier work – less scuzzy, more gauzy. Instrumental opener ‘Sunrise In Maple Shade’ hints at the London band’s change in direction: Glow And Behold is a broader, more expansive record than their self-titled debut. ‘Out Of Time’ is a mellow slow burner that fades nicely into single ‘Lose My Breath’, which echoes the sunny pop-rock of The La’s. ‘Memorial Fields’ is a musing, melancholy track offset by the thumping drive of ‘Middle Sea’. ‘Somewhere’ and ‘Nothing New’ are meditative, guitar-driven tracks that, while lovely, lack energy.

The Yuck of 2011 were rough-and-tumble, loose but on the same page. The Yuck we hear on Glow And Behold are tight but lacking the raw energy of their previous iteration. ‘How Does It Feel’ features a swirling guitar solo that harks back to the Yuck of old, but otherwise it’s a softer, more steady side of the band we hear on this album.

The title track is a highlight that recalls Supergrass, while hinting at what the sophomore release could have been. It is consistent and features some interesting ideas, but lacks the fresh inventiveness that cut through their previous songs.

Yuck still know how to make a solid summer record. Glow And Behold features some very blessed-out tracks that are fairly strong, but the standout tracks blend into the rest of the album, which is consistent, but not necessarily ground-shaking.

3/5 stars


Glow and Beholdis out now through Fat Possum/Mercury Records

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