Tag Archives: Muck and the Mires

New Album! Len Price 3

 

I direct you again to Bucketfull of Brains, a superior publication I am proud to have been associated with for over a decade. This review, written in January, is available in the current issue which hit the stands in early March… 

There is no “Len Price“, of course; this Medway trio is composed of Glenn Page on guitar and vocals, Steve Huggins on bass, and drummer Neil Fromow. But perhaps a better way to phrase it would be that the band is composed of The Who, The Kinks and The Jam. Because if any of those three bands make the hair on your…well, hairy areas stand up, this is the band for you. If two or more of those bands make you strap on an air guitar, I may have your new favorite record in my hands. 

Fromow counts off the opening track (the title song) by clicking his drumsticks before launching into Keith Moon mania, with Huggins right on his tail like a hyperactive Bruce Foxton. You can almost see Page windmilling his guitar in his best Townsend pose, dripping Medway accent into the microphone with the energy of a teenager. And that’s how it goes on this thirteen-song, thirty-minute workout – one great song after another. Stripped down, short sharp and pop, echoing the greats but not mimicking them. 

The Prisoners heritage is clear

Touchstones abound – “I Don’t Believe You” is the son of “She’s Got Everything”, and “Keep Your Eyes on Me” is cut from the cloth of The Who Sell Out. The infectious “After You’re Gone” will remind one of “So Sad About Us”, and even the title of “Mr. Grey” sounds like a Paul Weller tribute (albeit with a flourish of horns straight out of “Penny Lane”). This album has it all – ringing guitars, great vocals, and catchy songs fueled by power chords and muscular drumming. It reminded me of recent favorites by Muck and the Mires and Graham Day and the Gaolers – and sure enough, Graham Day was one of the producers on this record. 

This is the third album from The Len Price 3, and while the other two were very good, Pictures is flat-out brilliant;  the first great record of the year and a lock for my Best Of 2010 list. Get it now.  

Robin Williams' Emmy via David Mills' words

And another sad loss…writer David Mills died yesterday from a brain aneurysm. Mills wrote for some of my favorite television shows – NYPD Blue, The Wire, Homicide – as well as helming The Corner and collaborating with David Simon on the upcoming Treme for HBO. He was only 48 years old. 

“What I can bring is the sort of simple story stuff, the stuff I would feel like I can contribute to any show I happen to be on at any given time, which is just, ‘How do we get the most out of these characters.” 

Here’s a nice tribute from friend and TV critic Alan Sepinwall

And another from NOLA.

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New Album! Muck and the Mires

Dr. Tongue never had it so good

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.)

Visit Muck and the Mires at their  website and on MySpace

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My Bucket List

Older than your last car and still going strong

Bucketfull of Brains, that is.

The new issue is out! My reviews include the new efforts from Cheap Trick, Ian Hunter, Cracker and Muck and the Mires. No features from me this time, but check out these gems from my mates:

  • Lucky Soul: ‘It sounds like the Supremes, but inside out. Surely you understand that?!’ Interview by Terry Hermon
  • John Wesley Harding: Then, now, and whenever. Wesley Stace speaks to Nick West
  • ‘I never travel far without a little Big Star’ Simon Wright hears the box set, sees the band in Hyde Park, and converses with John Fry, Jody Stephens and Alex Chilton.
  • ‘We oppose all rock’n’roll’. Phil King hears from Rob Symmons of Subway Sect and Fallen Leaves about 1976, how the Sect formed, and the 100 Club Festival (with unseen pics of the Sex Pistols).
  • Mavericks In Maturity. Jeremy Gluck talks to Peter Holsapple about working with Chris Stamey again

All that plus a ton of news and reviews and some great pictures. So head on over to the Bucketfull of Brains site, nab a subscription (or try a single issue) and enjoy the wonder of a great print magazine – music’s endangered species!

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Under The Radar: Muck and the Mires

 

Anytime I can get an IPO shirt and Manitoba's in the same pic, I'm doing it

Anytime I can get an IPO shirt and Manitoba's in the same pic, I'm doing it

I try to stay on top of upcoming release lists, which is harder and harder to do since most bands I’m curious about are not on the major label circuit. Of course, this makes it easy to be out of sight, out of mind, as there are only so many Post-It notes I can slap on a wall. Of course, most of the projected release dates slip anyway, especially in this dodgy economy, so sometimes I find myself stumbling upon a band name during some tangent and click towards their site with great anticipation…and mixed results.

Sometimes I am floored that one slipped by me (like the third E.I.E.I.O. album!!), but often times I find that the release date has shifted, or the scheduled date has quietly passed by with no update. Such is the case with the upcoming album Hypnotic from Muck and The Mires, which hopefully will see the light of day this year. Originally set to be released by the band, it then was slated for Dirty Water Records and indeed might still come out under that moniker via Get Hip Records here in the US.

There’s been a lot of acclaim for the band, from winning an Underground Garage competition on Little Steven’s show to opening the stage for the New York Dolls at SXSW. Yet, criminally, they’re still under the radar…

 

Great record - you can count on it.

Great record - you can count on it.

MUCK AND THE MIRES: 1-2-3-4 (Dionysius) 

Looking for the bastard son of The Sonics and The Beatles? Look no further, as Boston’s Muck and the Mires once again birth a platter that channels the energy of the former and the song craft of the latter. My god, this is what rock’n’roll music is supposed to be! Great growling vocals, snapping drums, walking bass lines and ringing guitars; it’s a sixties band with 21st century chops and production values. Twelve tracks that clock in under twenty-five minutes and in a better world there would be six hit singles here, at least.

The lone cover, “(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet” is played with as much spirit and reverence as the originals. Their other albums are solid as well, but on 1-2-3-4 they’ve nailed the clarity and sonic balance that puts these songs in their best light. Evan Shore (“Muck”) should be a star, and hopefully by the time you read this, he will be. Buy this and make people listen!

(original album review written for Pop Culture Press)

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