Paisley Umbrella: Muck and the Mires "Hypnotic"
Muck and The Mires gave us a little teaser last year for their upcoming Kim Fowley produced release, Hypnotic. The long wait will finally end on April 9th. It's been too long! The opening "Doreen" somehow sounds much better now. Drummer Jessie Best kicks up a sweet, loud beat while Evan "Muck" Shore throws in superb, unadelterated chords on his Muckenbacker while gravelling jubilantly. Throw in some tasty little high and low riffs from Brian Mire, a few handclaps, John Quincy Mire's groovy bass and solo time, and you're in rock 'n' roll high school were it's all about girls and fun. Great start, isn't it? "Treat Her Right" is a little alien at first with it's country tone, but it grows on you after a while. "I'd Do It Over Again" takes a '60s surf/spy approach with a slower beat that brings to mind wet, warm nights and hot rods.
Later tracks like "Hang All Over Me" cements in Muck and The Mires signature vintage sound of early '60s Hamburg with two raw guitars and a basic rock 'n' roll approach that echoes the celebratory revolution of rock 'n' roll in those days; a time when The Beatles thrived on playing nasty tunes live every night and the newly shorned Monks made the town their own monastery by squeezing in faster beats and an organ, thereby perfecting The Hamburg Sound. In fact, "Hang All Over Me" has the group singing in unison a nice organ in it! A great track is the Kinks influenced "Crush on Me", which has smoother vocals and a melody reminiscent of "Tired Of Waiting" that builds, moves, and will shake anyone as well as any structures within earshot. "That Poor Little Girl" still sounds fresh and new, but "Hypnotic" takes on a new identity in its second run. It somehow sounds a little louder and definitely persuasive with its Harrison-like plucks and two chords for a melody. "Hamburg Time" is a loud homage to the previously mentioned birthplaces of loud rock 'n' roll that will leave everyone else wanting to set their clocks to "Hamburg Time," but "Mata Hari" throws The Rat Pack out of the tiki bar to replace them with some British Invasion and a slinky sitar. It's rock 'n' roll that brings to mind wild nights among tiki torches and hula dancers in celebration of the ended day's wave riding. The British Invasion models and shapes the sound of many acts today, but Muck and The Mires make it a lot more special by reviving The Hamburg Scene when the bands that played were a lot rougher and more fun than their later incarnations and subsequent counterparts.
Kim Fowley declared "Cocoa Beach" to be a big hit for the Summer of '08 when he went into the studio with them a while back. It's got a great ocean rhythm, beach music harmonies, and some astounding drumming, but whether it's by heritage or the age demographic of Florida, my image and memories bring up visiting Aunt Sadie and Uncle Morty in Boca more than a hot vacation. Although "lying on the beach all day" would be ideal, many who visit end up playing a lot more shuffleboard. I can't fault anyone for that, though. In fact, I need to get down there if Cocoa Beach is as groovy as Muck tells us. The closing track "Gone, Gone, Gone" is a standout with feedback and volume. It's a good ending by kicking things up just a little.
Fowley had a vision of recording Muck and The Mires in the style or feel of With The Beatles. Although The Beatles are so familiar that everyone likes them, but a large portion amonth them lack the ability to hear great new music, so they've dissected, overanalyzed, and written endless, over repeated tomes on their genius to the point where we all know about it and have been furiously shaking off the weight of The Beatles for a good part of our lives, if one listens to a song like "I Saw Her Standing There" and rediscovers the rock 'n' roll simplicity of it in the catchy lyrics, the happy beat, the elated tone in the screams, and the eventual realization that it still has what we all are looking for: Simple, fun rock 'n' roll, then go farther back and dig "The Hamburg Sound" with The Monks, one could only conclude that Hypnotic is the answer to our modern dilemnas of politics and the economy. We've got fun, loud rock 'n' roll that's not complicated or overdone. Things have been pretty tough for everyone lately. It's time to get out there, go to a show, and shake, rattle, roll, and shimmy one's self back to into a time when things were fun and the world carried a lot of hope and promise. Not only can Hypnotic take us there, but it reminds us that like back then, things are changing all around us and while we remain apprehensive about the future, the world is opening up again, which is exactly what one feels when they discover rock 'n' roll. It's time to have some fun!