Saturday, 30 April 2016

Album Review: Müg/Maxwells Dead Split

Umlaut Records is a new London-based independent record label run by the fine gentleman from Müg. Their first release is a split from Müg and Scottish ska punks Maxwell's Dead, each providing two songs to the record.

Müg are up first with their two songs. The first is named Misery Guts. I've enjoyed the four-piece’s melodic skate punk for a number of years and they have consistently put out great releases throughout their time together as a band. Misery Guts is everything I've come to expect and love from the band. Starting out with a great drum beat and some slight guitar riffs before fully committing to the track musically there is such a NOFX influence before lead singer Mat's smooth and melody driven vocals join in on the fun. Guitarist Mark and bassist Mikey both have time to shine on the track but it never feels likes they are just trying to squeeze everyones parts in for the sake of it, which is good. Müg’s second song on the split is named Silent Nights. From the start this feels like a big sing-along and I love it instantly. It's a proper punk rock fist-in-the-air shout along with your mates or whomever you are standing next to punk anthem. The tempo of the song is fantastic, after a slower opening it bursts into life and, aside from one slower moment in the middle of the track, the pace is kept high throughout. Love it!

Scottish ska punks Maxwell's Dead take the next two songs. The first of their songs is titled Transposed and actually goes down more of a skate punk route than the Rancid inspired ska/street punk that I was expecting. Then, wonderfully but quite randomly, there is a slight folk/celtic punk breakdown that would fit wonderfully in to a Dropkick Murphy’s song. I wouldn't ever have thought that skate and folk punk would ever fit well together in a song but it certainly does here. Credit to Maxwell's Dead for adding something different to the skate punk genre. Maxwell's Dead's second track, The Doctor, is a lot more of what I was expecting. The song starts with a slower, reggae style that gets you grooving but also gives you a sense that soon enough things are going to get faster. The tempo certainly does rise and gradually transforms the song into much more of a punk song. The guitar work during the song is fantastic and serves as a catalyst in transforming the track into a big punk rock jam with some fantastic harmonies. The final minute of the song, musically especially, is relentless and really finishes the song and the split with a bang!

I really enjoyed this fun little split from these two fantastic underground bands. Two bands that deserve a lot more attention from the musical world. Both are incredible songwriters and do the world of punk proud. I recommend checking out this split and I'm really looking forward to whatever Umlaut Records put out next.

Stream and download the split here:

Like Müg here:

Like Maxwells Dead here:

Check out Umlaut Records here: