Much like Hypnotic‘s 3-d album cover, the music of Muck and the Mires comes straight at you. Kim Fowley’s production is sharp and thin – he usually just throws the songs out there without fanfare (“Cocoa Beach” does get a roll of surf). When the songs are strong enough, like the garage crunch of “Crush on Me” and the killer opening track “Doreen”, it appears to be a marriage made in heaven. But when it doesn’t, it exposes a song like “Hang All over Me” for what it is; a pedestrian pop rocker that disappears from memory almost immediately. But that’s the beauty of an album of short pop songs – mental floss is three minutes away, and there are far more hits than misses.
Many bands ape The Beatles, but these guys cleverly went all the way back to Hamburg (and if “Hamburg Time” doesn’t get your mop top shimmying, there’s something wrong with you). But they don’t stop there – “Wipeout” is embedded in “Cocoa Beach”, “Do It All Over Again” subtly buries the theme from The Munsters in its melody, and “Treat Me Right” sounds like a teenaged Dave Edmunds grave-robbing Scotty Moore-era Elvis. The title track should be the theme song for a revival of Where the Action Is. I don’t think this is the best Muck album, but Fowley has captured a rawer, live sound, accentuated by deeper, raspier vocals from Evan Shore.
So what the hell, this isn’t rocket science. Do you wanna have fun or not? Pop this in and turn it up before that hot chick who wants to dance leaves the party.
(This review is published in Bucketfull of Brains #73, available now. So what are you waiting for? Go to Bucketfull of Brains and get your copy.)