In a sentence:
Delivered with restless energy and no small amount of humour, Mush’s debut EP ‘Induction Party’ continues to mark them out as one of the best British indie hopefuls.
promising new band to have emerged from Leeds in the five years since Eagulls
briefly threatened to ascend to stardom, Mush are lodged in the fertile
grey areas between the jingle-jangle of classic C86-era indie and the
more inventive end of British post-punk. Their first EP since they emerged with
their epic debut single ‘Alternative
Facts’ around two years ago and took in last year’s excellent one-off ‘Gig Economy’, Induction
Party continues the quartet’s increasingly rich vein of form to date.
Across its six tracks and 19 minutes, Induction Party comes across as having the same kind of effortless energy as the early Pavement tracks, albeit more focussed and strident. Mush may wear their influences proudly on their sleeves, right down to the vaguely Soviet-style artwork, but they successfully manage to imprint their own personality on proceedings. The jarring, jerky opener ‘Litvinenko’, referencing the Russian whistleblower and defector assassinated in 2006 and used as a spectre warning the present day of what states can still do to dissidents, is a great example of their M.O. Frontman Dan Hyndman’s discursive vocals, somewhere between Elvis Costello’s cynical sneer and David Byrne’s vulnerable yelp, suit the material perfectly, infused with the same strange combination of urgency and flippancy that makes Mush’s music so compelling.
single ‘Operation Vaken’,
with its meandering middle-section of false endings, and the frantic ‘Jackleg!’ plough the same
furrow. ‘Dystopian Maps’ is
much more traditionally ‘punk’ in its approach, opting for volume over the
staccato guitar needles and jabs that dominate much of the EP, before the collections
ends with the sprawling ‘Everyone
Loves A Casualty (‘Cept Me)’. Throughout all of Induction Party, the
tautness of Mush’s musical chemistry is in thrilling contrast to their tendency
to colour outside the lines with flourishes of atonal improvisation.
sideways, self-deprecating hollering of the trashy ‘Totally Derivative’ shows that
Mush are more intelligent than your average band dabbling in politics. Like the
similarly brilliant London three-piece Shopping,
they reject the earnestness that typically hobbles such endeavours, by
embracing a sense of humour and understanding that these tracks need to be fun,
not dour and serious. They’re not professing to reinvent anything, and don’t
indulge in anything remotely like rock-star bullshitting in their music. If
their eventual debut album is anything like as clever and inventive as Induction
Party, Mush could be the most important independent act of the last couple
of years. (9/10) (Ed Biggs)
Listen to Induction Party EP by Mush here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: Ed Biggs, EP, Induction Party, Memphis Industries, Mush, review
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