Sunday, 28 June 2015

Album Review: Growler by Müg

I haven't blogged in a while, haven't really even put  that much thought into blogging again for a little while. Then something changed that. Mark from London based punk band Müg got in contact with me with a copy of his bands new release Growler. Not because he wanted me to review it, just because I have reviewed Müg in the past and he thought I might want to give it a listen. That was so awesome of him, I really can't imagine that in any other scene something like that would happen. I really wanted to expose everyone to this record now, so hoped that it would be good. It wasn't good - it was fucking awesome. (Regular readers of this blog will know how much I try not to drop swears into my writing, but Growler deserves it to demonstrate just how good I think it is.)

Out With The Old is the name of the opening track on Growler. It begins with a long thoughtful musical intro before exploding into life. Backed some Bad Religion-esque harmonies Müg's lead singer throws us into a frenzy with some passionate vocals. The songs about the frustration of being unhappy in the scene that you're in and starting your own one. A great opener to the record. The second song Red Bandanas (not Bananas like I first thought it said) begins with an excellent drumbeat that hooked me into the song from the get go before being joined by some buzzing guitar work. I love the way that the vocals are used to carry the melody of the track, kind of like adding another instrument to the song. This song sounds like classic Müg with a massive chorus to go along with the melodic verses. Necktie sees Müg get political. The song starts with some fantastic tricky bass work as the singer spits some venom about the lack of the "everyman" in British politics, about how there is nobody truly representing "the little people." This song is some fast and furious punk rock with a really strong message. Track four is named Whaddyawant? It feels like there is a big NOFX influence in this skate punk jam. The band really show off their skills as musicians throughout the track as it pounds along at a great pace. This feels like a song that could really get a crowd going crazy.

The second half of Growler starts with the song Idiot box. This was the song that really stood out for me on my first listen of the release. The three part harmonies during the end of the song are as good as you will hear on any punk rock release, absolutely first class. The song is about turning off your TV and getting out and actually living your life the way you want to and not the way TV suggests you should. I love this message. Dug is the shortest song on Growler at just 1.01 long. As you might expect it's a fast and frantic punk rock storm with the vocals again carrying the melody of the song. The guitar work at the start of the track is something that El Hefe would be proud of. The penultimate song Bitter Moon sees Müg slow things down and go into thoughtful mode. Utilising just a guitar and vocals the song really draws you in and really makes you concentrate on the lyrics. Despite its simplicity Bitter Moon is packed with hooks and could become a fan favourite live song for the band. Bitter Moon finishes and Müg launch into the final song They're Happy. I loved how seamless this felt. Bitter Moon and They're Happy could easily pass as one song or as two separate tracks. They work brilliantly as a pair or individually. They're Happy is an explosive way to complete Growler. This is skate punk at its finest, fast guitars, a pounding drumbeat, excellent melodic vocals with a big chorus which will make you want to sing loud and throw your fists in to the air.

Growler could very easily find its way into my top ten albums of the year. It has everything I enjoy in a punk rock release. When people mention skate punk you always go back to the 1990's when most of the classic albums in the genre were released, I think Growler could easily fit in amongst the very best of them - it's that fucking good.

Buy Growler here: 

Now listening to The Obituaries by The Menzingers

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