SoundsXP: Muck and the Mires "A Cellarful Of Muck"
Such is the Britishness of Muck and the Mires sound that it comes as a big surprise to find that they hail from New England. 'A Cellarful Of Muck' doesn't try to hide its influences, it doesn't push boundaries and it doesn't try to pretend otherwise. This is pure, old fashioned garage rock 'n' roll and whether or not this album is for you depends purely on your stance towards the genre. Those looking for innovation should stop reading now, those looking for a primal collection of two-and-a-half-minute retro guitar numbers, however, are looking in exactly the right place.
There is no pretence here, 'A Cellarful Of Muck' is a riot. From the opening bars of the rifftastic 'King Of The Beat' through to the final thud of 'Love Is Knocking At Your Door' the pace is relentless, the album's producer Kim Fowley hit the nail on the head when he described the band as “1964 Beatles meets The Ramones”. The themes covered here rarely stray far from the age-old problem that seems to affect men in garage bands: not having much luck with the ladies. The song titles speak for themselves; 'Tired Of Losin' Sleep', 'Laura's A Liar', 'Love Hates Me', and they're heading for a restraining order with lines like “if I can't keep your love I'm gonna creep you out”.
There's little here that strays from the template and you can't help but feel that a little more variety wouldn't go amiss, such as the chimes on 'I Don't Need A Reason To Miss My Baby' which make for a welcome break from the simple guitar/bass/drums layout. Criticising Muck and the Mires for sticking to the format is a bit like having a pop at Slayer for being too heavy; it's what they're trying to do. Evan Shore's vocals have a similar feral quality to that of a young Paul Weller and they can certainly knock out a catchy tune. This isn't an album that will change your life, but it will put a smile on your face, and you can't knock that.