Be wary of approaching Yuck expecting novelty: their debut album is derivative enough to keep a whole floor of derivatives traders in work for years. But given that it's 20 years since their sources – the pre-grunge guitar rock of Dinosaur Jr, Buffalo Tom and the like – held any currency, their slacker pop sounds appealingly fresh. Even the obvious steals – Operation brazenly lifts the vocal melody and phrasing of Sonic Youth's Teen Age Riot – sound joyful and unfettered rather than sly and cynical. The lyrics sound like the work of very young people striving for depth – Suck rhymes crucifixion, benediction, addiction and affliction in a kind of religion-and-drugs bingo – but given that they are very young, that can be forgiven. And if all this sounds like very half-hearted praise, bear in mind that Yuck have a winning way with a melody, and their layering of guitars with noise and rich, ringing tones is rarely short of gorgeous.
Michael Hann is a freelance writer, and former music editor of the Guardian