Kindred spirits: Superchunk, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr.
Show: With Tame Impala on Friday at the Black Cat. Show starts at 9 p.m. 202-667-4490. www.blackcatdc.com. $15.
You could say that Yuck is greatly inspired by such early ’90s indie rock kingpins as Superchunk and Pavement. You could even say that every song on the young British band’s self-titled debut album is loosely based on specific moments from the catalogues of those bands or their peers. But just as the influences can’t be denied, neither can the vibrancy and energy that run through these dozen songs.
The band members, all in their early 20s, were in diapers during the heyday of American indie rock. So even if the sounds have been done before, Yuck provides them with a rare sense of discovery. It feels less like a studied homage than a giddy tribute to new best friends. Which isn’t to say homework hasn’t been done. Running through all of the electric guitar sounds on “Yuck” is like roll-calling the seven dwarves of indie guitar tones. There’s grimy (“The Wall”), chuggy (“Get Away”), jangly (“Shook Down”), fuzzy (“Holing Out”), sinewy (“Georgia”), droney (“Rubber”) and Dinosaur Jr. (the rest).
For longtime devotees of the genre, it’s like discovering a classic mixtape. But just as you can enjoy a movie without having read the book, newcomers will find plenty to love as well. That’s because whereas most albums have one or two mixtape-worthy tunes, each one on “Yuck” qualifies. The ability to write songs instead of simply mimic sound is what makes Yuck much more than a nifty tribute act.