Yuvees Bring the Midwest Rock Tradition to Portland

“It sounded like sheet metal being ripped, like bottles breaking,” says Brendon Broome.

Yuvees (KC Weinman)

7/8/9. Yuvees

Sounds Like: A collapsing building, but danceable

Yuvees ended up in Portland more or less by accident. Brothers Brendon and Jacob Broome set out on the road from Dayton, Ohio, in 2017 to escape their low-paying jobs and see the country.

“Eventually, we had van trouble and kind of just limped along the trail and then found work on a marijuana farm in Eugene,” says Brendon Broome. “We needed something a little more fast-paced, so we moved into Portland.”

Once they formed Yuvees with fellow Ohio expat Samantha Oxley, their wiry brand of self-described “mutant disco” quickly made a splash on the Portland music scene.

Though Broome’s been in Portland for seven years, he admits “my heart’s always with Dayton,” and indeed, Yuvees’ music has much more in common with the Midwestern alternative rock tradition than that of Portland. Ohio is notorious for producing bands like Devo, Pere Ubu and Rocket From the Tombs, which flout rock convention and bring a streak of Rust Belt futurism to their music.

“It sounded like manufacturing, like where I grew up,” Broome says. “It sounded like sheet metal being ripped. It sounded like bottles breaking.”

Though it may seem as if the pandemic swallowed the earlier Portland rock scene and regurgitated a new one, Yuvees have found success on both sides of lockdown and have found a kinship with noisy young bands like Common Girl, Kill Michael and Guitar—the latter of which opened for Yuvees at the release party for their new album, Dead Keys, last month.

“I remember people telling me to turn my amp down at shows way more before COVID than after COVID,” Broome says. “I think it’s an improvement, personally.”

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