Release Date: Jun 16, 2015
Record label: Votiv
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Australian pop group Alpine has a knack for guitar-driven hooks and harmonic vocal melodies with just a touch of synth sprinkled in. Where 2012’s debut LP A Is For Alpine was nothing short of brilliant, Yuck sees the band exploring new pop territories that don’t have the same consistent immediacy, but still come with a number of bright spots. Yuck peaks early.
The second studio long player from the Aussie six-piece, Yuck finds Alpine doubling down on the cosmopolitan, Ibiza-ready synth-pop side of their 2012 debut, offering up an immaculately crafted ten-track set that's so judicious in its sonic precision it almost doesn't register. The band has been tagged "antiseptic" in the past, but the term is unfairly punitive. In an age where anybody with a laptop and a microphone can put out a record, it's sometimes nice to hear a fussed-over studio production where the parts are treated with respect and the overall vision is achieved through hard work and not just dumb luck.
Appearing in 2010, Melbourne six-piece Alpine surprised quite a few people through the cunning expedient of being a sunny antipodean indie-pop band that sounded more like icily cool Scandinavians. Early singles Heartlove and Hands combined low-in-the-mix electric guitars and propulsive synthesiser lines with joint vocals from singers Lou James and Phoebe Baker, their eerily similar voices lending an instantly distinctive tone. Gasoline, taken from 2012’s A is for Alpine, took some of the same elements, threw in some jazzy raked guitar lines and welded them to an irresistible, seductive hook.
In an effort to appeal to a broader audience, Alpine diminish the flimsy post-punk mold of their debut effort in favor of haughty, cool detachment. That may sound like a contradiction in itself, but the Melbourne sextet is trying to move in two directions simultaneously—further exploring the elastic guitar workouts of last year’s A Is For Alpine while providing an array of floaty, sun-kissed synths with an air of sophisticated panache. These are mostly pop songs in disguise, like that of receiving a callous kiss from a sweetheart whose loving thoughts roam elsewhere.