On January 17th at the Garrison, Yuck played in one of their first shows in Canada since the loss of lead singer Daniel Blumberg. Opening for Yuck was band Alvvays (pronounced “Always,” but don’t worry I was confused too), a band of trippy, reverb-heavy, beach music. The use of reverb made the band sound like they were playing underwater, but with the monotonous, haunting lyrics of lead singer Molly Rankin, whose deep-throated vocals were often over-powered by the sweeping guitar, the band itself was quite a refreshing dose of old-school rock. Though mono-tonality might be Rankin’s personal style, some may say it is a result of a lack of vocal range, although she does do a very convincing David Byrne.
When Yuck took the stage, the crowd was packing in to the front of the room in such a way as to make me believe that the loss of Blumberg did nothing to affect the band’s status with fans. Every once in a while someone would scream out “I love you guys,” which didn’t elicit much of a response from the members. The absence of the lead singer did nothing, however, to lessen the sound of Yuck; a band which creates music that is immensely well-balanced, especially with the perfect, melancholic, dulcet tones from Mariko Doi.
Known for their cover of New Order’s Age of Consent, which some event-goer bellowed at Max Bloom, the new lead singer, and that they ended up playing it anyway, it was interesting to see their take on one of New Order’s most well-known songs. Of course, being something they have played countless times before, it was kind of a given that they played it that night.
There’s something to be said for bands that carry on after losing the main vocalist. How does a band recreate and/or maintain their sound, or following with fans? Regardless, the fans at the Garrison seemed quite impressed, and the music moved a few to spastic dancing. If anything, Yuck’s behaviour as a band proves that the life and death of a group does not depend on that of the lead singer, and re-creation is possible, sometimes necessary, in order to survive in the music industry.
Emily Fox | @foxyfoxe