Buzzy and fuzzy Yuck, shoegazing indie rockers from across the pond, is a little different since its 2011 self-titled debut. Frontman Daniel Blumberg left to focus on a solo project, leaving guitarist Max Bloom to front the now-trio.
Not a problem. Yuck sounded great, of course, but Glow and Behold sounds great (if not better) in a new way. It sounds like the lineup change kept Yuck from a sophomore slump. The instrumental opener “Sunrise in Maple Shade” lets some horn bits sneak in and out, a delightful and subtle touch that they manage to use sparingly throughout the rest of the album, resisting the urge to use it as a style crutch.
Some of the slow-burners, especially “Rebirth,” owe a sonic debt to My Bloody Valentine or Yo La Tengo. The shoegazey stuff is fine, but Yuck really excels on the more up-tempo and dynamically-varied songs -- “Middle Sea” and “Nothing New” do it best.
The title track that closes the album is a much more crisp acoustic strummer, with the horns returning to triumphantly play us out over driving piano chords and, finally, some highly distorted electric guitar, endlessly repeating a riff.
Slow, fast, loud, soft -- the permeating vibe is simply charming. For a band drawing on shoegazing alt-rock tradition and swimming in its own pool of angst and guitar peddles, Yuck still manages to create something pretty with Glow and Behold.