Sean Dalton – Yuck
In a world where we are facing huge changes, with the political landscape going through huge upheavals leaving many with so much uncertainty and concern, it’s a blessed relief that art continues to flourish despite so many other cultural challenges. Sean Dalton’s Yuck is, in the most simple terms, an ideal antidote for today’s disconcerting issues. In total contrast to the new wave of bravado and bluster that saturates politics and the news, with fake news and alternative facts striving to sway our attention away from the more sinister realities, Dalton’s slacker shoegaze turns away from all that and instead offers something entirely different. Locking in to the classic and familiar tones championed by Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and Pavement, here we are given the chance to hear some tunes that offer no presumption or conceit. Instead, the music is given delicately, even distantly, never forcing itself on the listener but rather inviting you in to look more closely and discover the intricacies that lie within.
Opening with the EP’s title track ‘Yuck’, the slacker jangle leaps out from the speakers in a way that will immediately grab the attention of any college rock fan worth their salt. The nods towards Weezer are there too, with a pop sensibility running through the track’s veins that adds a joyous feel. It’s restrained at the same time, never running away with itself, but lurching forward with a slightly stoned feel despite also having the sense that given half a chance things could suddenly leap into a frenzy at any moment. We almost get there on the song’s outtro, but we find ourselves fading out before we ever get near anything so energetic, and that’s just fine. ‘Tired Bombs’ steps up next and bolsters Sean Dalton’s sound with a confident definition. The guitars jangle, the chords ring out with a sleepy laziness while the drums patter along adding moments of percussive punctuation that spend the whole time submitting to the more dominant tones of the guitars. Dalton’s voice wistfully spills out dolefully before a wonky keys section appears, in a kind of Grandaddy style that once more paves the way for another sleepy fade out. Closing track ‘Only Sleeping’ couldn’t be more aptly named, and also serves to underline the woozy feel that permeates Dalton’s music. The vocals meander along with an almost romantic tone, before cranking things up a notch to get a little yelling in and channelling a little of Quasi’s Sam Coomes.
Yuck manages to offer so much in such a small package. With three tracks, Sean Dalton establishes a trademark sound that never once shies away from his influences, while at the same time makes the sound very much his own. Aggressive indie it ain’t, but these are some real genre tracks that will bring true joy to anyone who finds pleasure in washed out, wonky rock sounds that make no apologies for their semi distracted wanderings and sonic non sequiturs.