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Can one man exist in the realm of buzz bands his entire career? Well, why the hell not? It's easier than it seems — simply lead one band to the top of Buzz Band Mountain, ditch that band with your bass player after a critically successful debut album, and lead another successful expedition to the top of that daunting peak. For North Londoner Daniel Blumberg, acting as a guide up the icy crevasses of Mt. Buzz Band is simply a way of life.
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Blumberg's first successful attempt at indie buzz band glory came in 2007, helming Cajun Dance Party. With their first single, "The Next Untouchable," the band put their shoeprint in the wet cement of Britain's ever-growing indie rock scene. Cajun Dance Party survived the initial buzz and released a stellar debut album, 2008's The Colourful Life. "Hints of The Kooks and even The Drums," they said about the album. Things looked good for young, idealistic teenagers Danny Blumberg and Max Bloom.
Danny and Max soon left all that behind. Danny met a New Jersey drummer with an ABBA-era white man's Afro while traveling in Israel, and Max moved from bass to lead guitar, opening the door for a new bassist hailing from Hiroshima — each of them around age 20. Then, they got a deal with Oxford, Mississippi-based label Fat Possum.
What to call the result? Yuck, of course.
With all due respect to Cajun Dance Party, who gives a fuck about that band anymore? It's nice to give a few songs a listen, if not to wax nostalgic for a few minutes. Danny and Max are now with Yuck, situated firmly at the helm of an astute '90s-era shoegaze revival. I had no idea about Yuck's Cajun Dance Party past before doing some light research on the band. For me, Yuck was a fun, new buzz band dropped a much-needed — albeit massive — dose of grunge to their slick sound. Songs like "Get Away" and "Holing Out" sounded as though they were firmly entrenched in some existential, early-'90s state of bliss.
Yuck had created an impressive reputation by late 2010 while having played barely any live shows. "Georgia" was a solid lead single for the band, yet it was the band's entire stateside profile. 2011, then, was the warm, windless day when they'd make the final push to summit the often-fickle Mt. Buzz Band.
First things first, however, and that required getting across the Atlantic to North America. Easy enough, right? Well, things turned out to be more difficult than that. According to the band, a hotly anticipated gig at New York's Mercury Lounge in late January had to be canceled because "some fuckface in Kentucky" incorrectly filled out their visa forms. Couple that with "Snowpocalypse" (as that particular winter storm has become so affectionately known) and things started to get out of hand. Yuck finally played in New York City the next night, however, landing in Newark some three hours before they were set to hit the stage at the venerable Glasslands.
Botched visa forms, two feet of snow, the ghost of Cajun Dance Party — none of it could stop Danny Blumberg from summiting his second band to the top of that goddamn mountain. For the sake of Yuck and their noble grunge-revivalist, shoegaze-enthusiast inclinations, let's just hope this is his final expedition.
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