Dine Alone Records
Canadian indie-pop band Yukon Blonde returns with Shuggie, their first full-length album since their 2020 release Vindicator. Shuggie has a fantastic start to it, but the instrumentation is not very exciting throughout, and the album’s second half is a huge decline from the first half.
“Up 2 U” is a standout track from the album. It feels like a track from the disco era and is one of the funkiest songs I have heard all summer. The high-pitched vocals, groovy guitar lick, and simplistic but incredibly effective percussion make it an abundance of fun from start to finish. Other highlights are “Shuggie Come Back” and “Not Interested”. The former features some awesome synths, has an infectious chorus, and is a nice combination of pop and psychedelia. The latter has an absolute banger of a riff and is quite witty, but it could have had a shorter run-time as it does get overly repetitive.
One of the biggest problems with Shuggie is that it never finds a distinct sound and ends up sounding too generic. “Lovers In A Crowded Room”, for example, sounds like 90 percent of the indie pop you would hear on the radio. The instrumentation is just too cliché. The same could be said for “You Always Get What You Want”, but at least that track has an enjoyable carnivalesque ending to it.
Another issue with Shuggie is that some tracks have great moments but end up being rather forgettable and disappointing. “So Original” is probably the biggest culprit of this. The beautiful and brief jazz section, led by mesmerizing horns, is a pure delight. It leaves you wanting more jazz elements on the album. Sadly, the rest of the song does not come close to matching this breathtaking section and instead ends up being an average song.
Shuggie has a few great tracks but has little replay value.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: YUKON BLONDE – SHUGGIE