Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

I-94 Bar: Muck and the Mires "A Cellarful of Muck"

More like a CD full of gems by the Boston band billed as Number One in the Garage Universe. You either get the garage thing or you don't.  God knows, the dance/trance crowd even hijacked the genre's name for a while, but it's back in safe hands now.  Muck and the Mires practice a particularly potent variant of this shit and have been around for a decade plus now. Long may the continue to run - not that they need such an exhortation because they show no signs of flagging.

Recorded in Detroit at Jim Diamond's god-head analogue studio Ghetto Recorders, "A Cellarful Of Muck" includes a bona fide classic in "Saturday Let Me Down Again."  This is a song with a chorus as catchy as a cold and a sentiment that most of the world can relate to.  The rest of the record ain't too shappy either.

The bio name-drops everyone from the New York Dolls to Roky Erickson, Ray Davies and the Bay City Rollers in terms of the company they keep, but the record lives up to all that.  In the past, they've even been produced by Kim Fowley - THE Kim Fowley - and won Little Steven's battle of the bands.  So you know it's going to be good.

You might think contemporary garage rock is simple a pale reflection of the '60s and more reverential than rockin'.  Lots of times you'd be right but not so with Muck and the Mires.  Songs like "Creep You OUt" and "I Don't Need A Reason" get along on thick bass and grinding guitars that are just this side of buzzsaw.  There's ample twang in "Laura's A Liar", the pop classic a la Nick Lowe "Right Now" and the Mersey cop "We Don't have To Hide Anymore" to balance the ledger.  In the end, the heavy-duty bottom end and well-rounded, punchy production puts paid to talk of recidivism.  It's beat but it rocks.

It's record number seven for Muck and Co and their fourth straight release on Dirty Water.  That says something for both parties.  These cats are so committed that they played the Cavern Club in Liverpool to launch their last long player.

No ifs, no buts.  This is simply an essential garage-rocker of an album.  It might not change your life but it'll enrichi it nicely.

- The Barman

Dirty Water Records London