In the Name of Rock

Published December 30, 2010

In an age where band names are becoming increasingly— albeit outrageously—indistinguishable (Deerhoof, Deerhunter, Deer Tick), it’s rare to be caught offguard by rock ’n’ roll nomenclature. This month, we introduce three freshly formed groups—Yuck (what were they thinking?), Darwin Deez (is this a strange reference to evolution gone stagnant?), and Delicate Steve (a more fragile singer-songwriter, perhaps?)— with names that may be brilliant or tragic (jury’s still out) but certainly aren’t forgettable. Lucky for them, their music isn’t either: London-based quartet Yuck produces plodding, spectral neo-grunge rock reminiscent of early Sonic Youth and Teenage Fanclub; Darwin Deez makes simple, cheer-heavy pop, seemingly tailor-made for the dance floor; and five-piece Delicate Steve is all instrumental, with intricate rhythms cascading over fuzzy, lo-fi bass lines. The bands’ albums, entitled Yuck (Fat Possum), Darwin Deez (Lucky Number), and Wondervisions (Luaka Bop), all hit streets this month. With sounds like theirs, odd identifiers are just the beginning of intrigue. More info at myspace.com/yuckband, darwindeez.com, and delicatesteve.com.