Yuck at Rudyard's, 2/6/2014
There were a few possible reasons for Houstonians to stay indoors last night: Not only was it the first televised night of the Winter Olympics, but it was also uncharacteristically frigid outside (at least by Houston standards). Nevertheless, Houston's hip weren't phased, as Rudyard's was packed with fans awaiting London shoegazers Yuck.
It'd been three years (to the day) since we'd last seen Yuck in Houston, when they opened for Smith Westerns at Fitzgerald's. This time around, however, Yuck's lineup reflected their recent shuffle: guitarist Max Bloom now fronts the band, after their former front man Daniel Blumberg left the group last year.
According to Bloom, he's had some time to prepare for the transition to front man - which might be why he seemed like a natural (although we did spy him nursing some Throat Coat tea before the show).
Yuck's set list was heavy with songs from their latest release Glow & Behold. Opener "Middle Sea" proved that although Yuck's vocal sound has changed, the essence of the band - their uniquely dreamy '90s-esque guitar tone - is still in tact.
The band looked intrinsically hip. Bassist Mariko Doi could be an Urban Outfitters model, with thick bangs veiling her eyes, while drummer Jonny Rogoff's massive Afro was the band's unofficial fifth member. The newest member, guitarist Ed Hayes, fit in flawlessly.
"Get Away," from Yuck's 2011 self-titled debut, was a highlight of the set, during which Bloom's guitar tone was particularly perfect. I was pleased to see the band still playing tunes that were co-written with Blumberg - some older songs originally sung by Blumberg didn't sound much different with Bloom on lead vocals, actually. Doi tackled lead vocals during "The Wall" - a cool change that spurred a brief crowd-surfing stint.
The crowd was also treated to a brand-new unreleased song, which Bloom explained will be on a forthcoming EP.
Review continues on the next page.