Mugstar cap a triumphant year with the launch party of new album Axis, Getintothis’ David Yates insists we’re witnessing the finest band in Europe, right on our doorstep.
A brief essay on why Mugstar are the best band in the country.
Just so you’re under no illusions, we’ll put this out there early doors: this evening, at Mello Mello, we witnessed one of the best gigs Liverpool has hosted this year.
First off were Eyes, Sam Wiehl and Jon Davies bringing a sonic texture to Mark Greenwood‘s compelling poetry which is at times confrontational, at others witty and incisive.
Greenwood condemns the Leveson report’s whitewashing; announcing that all journalists should now be free to rape anyone, anywhere, while handing out ‘copies of the report’ – it’s actually copies of an old encyclopaedia, but the point was well made.
Accompanied by Jon’s aggressive guitar strums, Mark gives his assessment of life, love and death in a way that is both uncomfortable and fascinating; the spoken work having a power that is sometimes lost with singing, drawing us in then making the listener feel voyeuristic for engaging with it.
Mind Mountain offer a fantastic mix of unreconstructed Black Sabbath and Hawkwind.
They trade in riffs, riffs and more riffs. There’s a tad bit of miss mixed in with the heavy hits, but when they connect, fuck, do they connect. The tracks are as yet unnamed as, unfathomably they’ve still to be released on record – even more absurd given their triumphant set at the recent Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, where their guitar histrionics slapped my acid warped mind out of its stupor into the real world with a hefty thud.
Special praise should be singled out for the keyboard crescendo at the close of the set, elevating their riffs into something truly special.
And lastly Mugstar. Its completely absurd that this band is playing in Mello Mello. Yes it’s a great bar, and yes its well worth a night sampling their fine ales and even finer cakes. But here in Liverpool, slowly burning, we’ve had for five years or more, a band that’s risen from a lowly billing on a Postmusic gigs to one of the world’s truly greatest psychedelic bands.
So much so we asked an east European friend to come along, saying ‘they’re the best band in the world right now,’ – within a second the reply was, ‘I know, see you later.’
If only the city had the same love we’d be queueing outside the Kazimier, begging to be let in.
From those beginnings they’ve dropped genuine masterpieces like their triumphant Lime album, and replaced them with new seminal tracks from their fifth studio album Axis.
Mugstar, accompanied by Sam Wiehl‘s hypnotic visuals, present on the surface a simplistic band; a sound that echoes much from the post-rock canon, yet they condense it into something far, far, far more intense, producing a dense, powerful but beautiful racket that few bands could even contemplate, let alone match.
Mugstar have peers (think Dead Skeletons or Wooden Shjips) but other than Swans, there’s little in the world to beat them.
The packed Mello Mello crowd recognise this very special of acts; and they’re rewarded with but two unplanned encores.
Reaction of the night is reserved from the dude who begs for spare change at Mello’s side door, who tells Getintothis, during a fag break, ‘My friend, what is this amazing noise?‘
And who has the words to answer that? No one can touch Mugstar right now.
Black Fountain taken from Axis.
Getintothis interview and full profile with GIT Award nominees Mugstar.