Upon waking up and putting on STFU’s album Yum 1 I immediately think, okay these guys love Big Black and I dig it heavily. Then the album switches up into something different entirely and I realize I’ve discovered another new album I genuinely enjoy listening to that mixes a variety of influences in an interesting way. Noise-rock, noise-pop, and 80s space rock are definitely salient reference points if one has never heard STFU.
One of my favorite bands all-time is My Bloody Valentine, and the fourth track on the album ‘The Liar’ may as well be the sequel to the former band’s legendary ‘Sometimes.’ These sounds ache and throb and make one feel something. Another band I’m reminded of a lot as I listen to this record is Spacemen 3. Yum 1 does a great job at bridging noise-rock with psychedelic rock which is far from an easy task.
Preston Maddox’s voice floats nicely over Yum 1’s songs, and the rhythm section created by Dean Garcia supports all of the washed guitar tones and synthesizers on the record. I’m glad to see that both members of the band share instrumental duties on pretty much everything. It’s always cool when a band switches up instruments on tracks, something I imagine that STFU did on this record.
The synthesizer on Yum 1 adds the right amount of ambience and the tonal quality fits the mix perfectly. Recorded, produced, and mixed by Dean Garcia, it appears Dean is a bit of a wunderkind when it comes to capturing the essential vibration of 1990s shoegaze music and channeling it into something new. Whatever effects and processing equipment Dean and Preston used for this record I want and as soon as possible!
‘Choloro’ is another track that evokes ‘Sometimes’ in a beautiful way. It’s inevitable that anyone who performs in this style gets comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Big Black, but that shouldn’t cheapen how good of a record Yum 1 is. More than ever, rock music needs artists like STFU to the carry the torch of older sounds to a new generation.
To be honest, I’m enjoying my first listen to this record more than my first listen to the My Bloody Valentine reunion album. It feels fresher? I don’t know, maybe it’s just because it’s early in the morning and I’m in a good mood, but Yum 1 makes an instant connection with the listener: it’s abrasive at points without being alienating.
‘Shadow’ seems like the obvious single from the record. If there was a real rock radio station and I heard this played I’d Shazam it, which feels really weird to say because its so close to Kazaam. Can I Kazaam this whole album instead?
In all seriousness, STFU do a great job at breathing some fresh life into some of my favorite rock n’ roll sounds. I highly recommend you stream and purchase this album.
Classical violinist and piano player. Mostly self-taught guitarist took lessons with Vic Juris who was sampled for Gang Starr’s Mass Appeal hit. Appeared in Music of the Heart with Meryl Streep (d. by Wes Craven.) Long-time home-recording artist.