Okay, Mummise Guns… What can I say…? Let’s see. To sum up Mummise Guns in the most eloquent way possible, and said with the sincerest of honestly, both the collective, and their Self-Titled debut, are nothing short of a full-on headache inducing trip into insanity, via the medium of music. This isn’t just an album, it’s an art form. It’s a living, breathing, ball of intensity, carved in to vinyl, and making its way from a factory located in the bowels of hell, and into your life, with careless abandon for your thoughts and feelings what so ever.
If there was an award for the most lunacy inducing album of the year, in my own humble opinion, here is the winner, hands down. If twenty twenty was an album, then this is that album.
Don’t get me wrong, to read all of the above, you may be mistaken for thinking that I didn’t care, but you couldn’t be more wrong. What I found was confusion, mainly because the part of me that understands, and appreciates classic structures, especially in my heavy music, was literally taking a beating from this new, and completely alien form standing in front of me.
Mummise Guns appear to have taken the rule book, and torn it apart, kept a few bits to mess with our minds that, in context, we recognize and built a brand-new Frankenstein out of the remains, like some crazy experiment that’s out of control.
Before I delve into the six-track Self-Titled entity that is Mummise Guns, I will drop in a little background of who the band are as you who may recognise some of the names. Featuring members of Luminous Bodies, Casual Nun, Black Shape, GHOLD, and Pigs x7, and it’s this hybrid of musicians, who are all carving ground in their own respective day job, that have all come together over the last few years, to be the collective you have before you today.
Right from opener Flattened Earth, I recognise some of the musical components at play, it sounds very ‘garage rock’, and it reminds me of early Nirvana, as it’s definitely got a punk rock leaning to it. As the vocal swaggers in I immediately draw the comparison to Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees. As that synonymous, mumbled, dark delivery waltzes in, and takes a seat, I falsely start to feel like it’s going down the Sub Pop era of grunge, which is no bad thing, let me tell you that.
Obviously, I’m wrong, and this doesn’t last. It up’s the ante, and introduces a far more chaotic realm as the track goes on. If you think of Iggy Pop on ALL of the drugs, you wouldn’t be far wrong. This style is also true on track four, Bipolar Brain Transmitter, where the feedback and distortion take on a life of their own, and it’s a very fine line between inspired and insanity, and that’s the path that we are walking.
Incoherent screeching lays over pounding, driving drums entwined with a wall of feedback and distortion…
At no point with this performance does it feel like there is any restraint, its completely up to you as the listener to decipher between whether it has an actual path, or whether it’s all improvised as the tapes are rolling.
Dog Cocked, track five, drops into that whole Queens Of The Stone Age Desert Sessions dynamic, It has a real PJ Harvey feel to it, and to put it into its easiest comparison, it’s like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop having some sort of insane ‘sing off’, while Nirvana sit in the background jamming anything that pops into their minds.
Glitter Balls, the track that I gravitate towards the most, and champion as a highlight. Its darker and more grimy, it delves into stoner territory, with what can only be described as a Soundgarden Loud Love style bass line, crushing it’s way throughout its five minutes.
By album closer, track six, End Of Days, it’s apparent just what Mummise Guns are truly capable of, but they aren’t finished just yet, and give it their all on this two minute fifty seconds, full on, facial assault. Incoherent screeching lays over pounding, driving drums entwined with a wall of feedback and distortion. As it plays, I muse at just how apt the title for this track really is, as it does feel somewhat like an apocalypse.
Once the music stops, I sit back, and ponder on how to attack this review with the same vigor that Mummise Guns attack music.
And so, in summary, I have this…
If this album were an animal, it would be a rabid dog, pounding the streets, snarling, and spraying its rancid slobber everywhere, for all to see. At times, due to the nature of the process of making this music, it does seem a bit directionless, but this I firmly believe is the culturing of the free-flowing ideas, as they happen. Instead of over thinking it all, it’s played with passion, and not being too precise to each note being executed perfectly. It’s that which gives it its raw, under rehearsed feel, but it in no way distracts from the passion and energy at work. It makes for an interesting, and sometimes confusing listen, but maybe that just me, maybe I’m too old, maybe I’m not down with the kids?
But as I sit here, with my pipe and slippers, writing this, I’m comfortable in the knowledge that there is a new generation, eager to experiment, and keep pushing the boundaries for the love of the music, and that my friends, is what it’s all about.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish