Hebronix, Unreal

Ian Gittins

By Ian Gittins

on 07.09.13 in Reviews
Yuck frontman pursues truth and beauty at the heart of a squall of guitar reverb

Joining Cajun Dance Party when he was just 15 and fronting feedback-laden music-press and blog darlings Yuck five years later, Daniel Blumberg has long offered hints of his prodigious musical talent; on Unreal, his first solo project, those hints are fully realized. On Unreal, cannily produced by Royal Trux man Neil Hegarty, Blumberg is devoutly pursuing truth and beauty at the heart of a squall of guitar reverb. The blissed-out title track sounds narcoleptic, love-dazed, like Sonic Youth heard through a morphine haze. “Wild Whim” is fragile and poetic, a succulent pop tune wrapped in brittle melodic gauze as its creator surrenders to the sensory overload of infatuation, telling an adored lover: “My tongue is standing on the edge of a thousand words.” Blumberg is clearly in thrall to first-generation UK shoe-gazers such as Slowdive, Swervedriver and Pale Saints, while the blanched guitar haze of the lovely “Viral” recalls ravished 1980s New York romantics Ultra Vivid Scene. Yet there is little that is retro about this immaculate, exquisite music; it is of the moment, and of itself.