The Record Lounge: Reviews 03/02/11 – Descender, Yuck

Descender – Dark Water

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Call them a local supergroup if you will (not unlike Them Crooked Vultures), with all members being in successful bands in the D/FW area for years – guitarist/vocalist Casey Hess (Doosu, Jump Rope Girls, Burden Brothers), bassist Zack Busby (Slow Roosevelt, Burden Brothers), guitarist Jeff Gruber (Slowburners) and drummer Duncan Black (Mousetrap, Slowpoke) – the parts that make the whole of Descender.

Casey Hess might just be making the most interesting music he’s made in over a decade. Returning with their second record in under a year, Descender’s inviting 90’s inspired throwback approach continues with Dark Water. A little darker than last year’s debut, Army of Elephants, Descender presents a moody journey through seven songs and interludes displaying hearty growth from just a year prior.

Clocking in at just around 30 minutes, Dark Water is well paced and fairly even throughout, playing as a carefree yet carefully constructed piece of work, allowing the music to take shape as it commands without being stifled. Opening with a pair of straightforward rockers – “Armor” followed by “Hats Off To Your Reflection”, the middle section is where this record really takes shape. The instrumental interludes of “Vial I” and “Vial II” sandwiching the mid-tempo title track is the real creative triumph here, bringing this to a wholly cohesive experience. This takes us back into another straight ahead piece, “Always Around” then to the sprawling denouement of nearly nine minutes of “Blinding Side”. All in about 30 minutes, completing a nearly perfect flow rarely found in rock albums these days.

If there’s been this much progression in just a few months I foresee a fruitful future for one of D/FW’s fastest rising acts. In short, Dark Water is a compelling, rewarding listen.

Yuck – Yuck

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Yes, it certainly feels like 90’s nostalgia is well upon us. Taking cues from such era stalwarts as Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Pavement, My Bloody Valentine and even The Lemonheads, London quartet Yuck’s influences are almost older than they are. With a median age of 20 years old, the members of Yuck have a lot to owe to their parents record collections. If you lament 90’s indie rock, attitude without abandon, look no further. Yuck is taking care of that fix for you, and doing it pretty faithfully, without updating or screwing it all up.


~ by thesynaptic on March 2, 2011.

One Response to “The Record Lounge: Reviews 03/02/11 – Descender, Yuck”

  1. Yuck’s S/T debut is a great record indeed. I got to see them open for Smith Westerns last month at The Loft, and was very impressed with their live show. They have chops that a bunch of youngsters touring in support of their debut album normally don’t have for several years and subsequent releases.

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