Fungal Punk: Muck and the Mires "Dial 'M' for Muck"
Branded as one of the leading forces in the garage scene Muck and the Mires steamroller on with hard touring and another 12-track release this time in cahoots with Kim Fowley (the brains behind the legendary all-female rock band The Runaways) and Jim Diamond (of White Stripes fame). Several previous releases have contained songs regarded as cult classics and with a healthy fan base, nearly 14 years on the block and much credible experience this is surely going to be an appetising 12 tracker – but...
We commence with the artistic brilliance of '3 Steps' and immediately the 60's British invasion furnace of sonic thermality radiates forth an all consuming blast of convincing sound to just throw one's rock and roll soul into action. The undulations, the cool drafts of backing vocals and the ultra sanguine relish of the front spillage are all tossed higher within a perfect mix of rewarding passion from eras bygone and eras to come. The passage of time is no hindrance, the concoction here sets the CD flowing with multi-coloured unrestricted rhythm and this easily picked up, played and re-spun number is a pip for sure. 'Don't Write Her Off' is another upbeat affair with glassy trinkets of tonality catching various attentive lights above an underlay of assured keyed in comfort thus glaring the eavesdropper but keeping them at ease throughout - no easy task. The verse has a certain tentativeness but perfectly provides an escort for the magnetic chorus chunk that once more thrives on intrinsically simple methodology. The electro ebony and ivories add a specific flavour of sub-yesteryear sci-fi-ism and with snatches of strung celebration we have the second instalment flying flags of glory.
'Cheating Yourself' is a coruscated, corrugated affair with a good crumpling of the cacophony that leans towards the rusted end of the rhythmic rainbow and pleases those that look for something bold, not necessarily gold. The grinding hip swing is subtle, the underlying bass bombardment equally so but the overall melody is in yer face and inescapable. The rock and rock froth up has all the components to keep many generations intrigued and I gallop forth with my whip of praise flashing rather than thrashing. Next up and 'Someday' is a real immovable bout of blown through positivity that wraps around its own sturdy spine of sonic grooviness and emits a pleasant pertinacious resolution that will not be bowled over by mere critical words. The lightly guitar dabbled surface of sound, the bold front statements and backing shadows as well as the bubbling underscore of bass and skins make for the fourth triumph thus far - things are looking mighty good folks. 'You Can't Run' is a safe and comforting little jaunt bobbing along on sun-soaked heels with the gentle warning flowing within an aromatic breeze of invigorating honesty. Light string and skin massages come beneath vocal fervour cooked to perfection and thus create a delightful tune not to get too ensnared by. One of those easy manoeuvres that run with professional slickness and unstrained ease - simple really (I think not).
'Next and a swift dose of 4 with the bluesy Stone-esque of 'Double White Line' snorting up your addictive impulses with the usual aplomb and raising decent highs with its unflustered approach and instantaneous catchiness that will soon have your hips gyrating and your tonsils preparing to align themselves with the vocal spillage. A well-rippled number that leads into the squishy love droplet known as 'Candy Apple Red', a real sickly sweet bout of adoration gone haywire with a persistent pulse palpitating due to the amorous emotion exposed. Say what you will (I usually do) but this sugary slop is actually well played and delivered with a believable innocence with the charm inside liable to hypnotise the many - I know my judgement is definitely on the side of favour which either shows it is a decent ditty or I am going slightly soft-headed in me old age (the latter option has much weight). Stepping on and into the more serious toned 'Whenever', a song that entwines itself around the trunk of sonica and grips tighter and tighter with each involving rotation. Again the orchestration of the piece is quite simple, the overall arrangement nothing out of the wild blue yonder but it is the application the artistes in question pour in and the downright accuracy as regards the sub-generic bulls-eye aimed for. The crew are drenched in the chosen swill and stink to high Heaven of players in the zone - this is a solid example of the bands finest assets - delicious! We fuck off from the flashing four with 'Karalee' leading us by the hand to the final rundown. This effort initially threatens to become a barbershop dollop of harmonised nonsense before soon becoming a groovy goose of a number that flaps its wings with increasing energy whilst slopping out a mushy but reality stricken heart before the lady in the title. Not my tip for the top but tidy enough - I'd expect nothing less as the standard has been set so high - silly buggers!
'Love Is Gonna' cleanly cuts in with brittle strums that crumble into a opening well-pulsated verse that meets its destiny with a 'whoa hoa'd' chorus built on passionate simplicity and scarred heart sincerity. A quite lovely tune that is heightened from its somewhat basic construction by the bands appetite and inner spirit - thriving indeed! 'Bad Omen' is darkly entitled but despite this the song has positive groove and is one of those delights that you can shimmer in the shadows with and thoroughly get in to after just one spin. It is the kind of song that demands re-spin after re-spin and has that snagging tonal and rhythmic drift that appeals to the more primitive sonic senses. Again the vocals are clear, gently kept buoyant on a well-foamed underscore of simmered fluidity and this penultimate track is neatly positioned and makes sure you, the listener, lose none of that zing - and why should you? We shut down with 'Pocket Change' a ruffling affair that flies with seasoned gusto with the drums creating gale blustery conditions in which the other players can get delightfully tossed about or indeed tossed off by if the fancy takes them. A real 'happening' undercurrent breathes life into the whole shebang with such a zapping intent the band punctuate a fuckin' good CD with a solid exclamation of 'yeah'. Choice.
Muck and the Mires have had me by the tuned testes and swung me in many directions whilst I have been enjoying the many delectable ditties that have dribbled my way. The set route, high consistency, adherence to the art and the overall talent infused all cultivate intrigue, promote increasing appreciation and assist me in hitting the last note as invigorated as I was slammed into the first - a fine CD and one to mix up in your usual collection whatever the style.