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Mush - Lines Redacted Music Album Reviews

Mush - Lines Redacted Music Album Reviews
Rallying against aggravating, absurd political realities with passion and humor, the Leeds post-punks offer a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to dourer contemporaries.

Mush’s Dan Hyndman savors every syllable. On the Leeds post-punk band’s second album, the vocalist and guitarist delivers five-dollar phrases with obvious glee, offering acerbic commentary ripped from international headlines. Songs about Russian bots meddling in elections and drinking bleach to cure COVID-19 could only be written in the present day, but Lines Redacted also serves as a monument to the band’s late guitarist Steven Tyson, whose versatile shredding defined their sound.
Mush first earned attention with their 2017 single “Alternative Facts,” named for the nonsense phrase Kellyanne Conway used to justify former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s lies about the size of the crowd at Donald Trump’s inauguration. Nearly 10 minutes long, the song became a surprise favorite of BBC Radio 6 DJ Marc Riley, showcasing both the group’s duelling six-string pyrotechnics and topical takes on current events. At the time, Hyndman explained how his vocal delivery had evolved from a generic post-punk monotone into his self-described “shrill and cutting” style.

Those vocals provide a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to contemporaries like IDLES, Shame, and Fontaines D.C., whose gruff, dour frontmen appear to take themselves deeply seriously. Hyndman’s yammering yelps, by comparison, have a frenzied urgency like Art Brut’s Eddie Argos and an exaggerated enunciation like a sarcastic impression of Bob Dylan. By acknowledging the aggravating, absurd reality, then rallying against it with passion and humor, Mush’s lyrical themes share more with New York bands like Parquet Courts or BODEGA.

In 2019, Mush’s debut album 3D Routine reflected a feeling of political optimism in the UK before Boris Johnson’s Conservative party crushed the dreams of a socialist future under Jeremy Corbyn. On the new album, Hyndman sings from the perspective of various narrators on either side of the aisle, cynically celebrating dead cat strategies (“Positivity”), doomsday preppers (“Hazmat Suits”), and the “sleepwalking breed” who would prefer to remain apathetic (“Seven Trumpets”). He reveals his personal beliefs in the rollicking highlight “B2BCDA” (that’s “Back to Back Consecutive Dark Age”), shouting at politicians who refuse to fight for change in the midst of crisis: “Smug anesthesia no time for their complacency/Walking around like their history’s redacted.”

Just when they start to sound like a meat-and-potatoes post-punk band, Mush save their musical experimentation for the album’s back half. “Morf” is a welcome palette cleanser, with a primarily instrumental wash of oddly tuned riffs and buzzing amp noises ripped from one of Sonic Youth’s shinily produced DGC albums in the early 1990s. “Hazmat Suits” continues to fuck with the formula as drummer Phil Porter grooves on a baggy beat, but even here Tyson can’t help but add chiming shards of No Wave guitar. Album closer “Lines Discontinued” attempts to repeat the trick of Mush’s breakout “Alternative Facts,” stretching out across almost eight minutes. Yet instead of sounding totally wired, they drift through dreamy passages reminiscent of the sleepier moments in Stephen Malkmus’ discography.

The album’s closing track is also its greatest showcase for Tyson, Mush’s late guitarist, with a loping instrumental hook giving way to wild solos that would make his hero Robert Quine proud. In a Facebook elegy for their bandmate, Hyndman describes the “life-changing bond” the trio formed while living together in their early 20s. The lyrics of Lines Redacted may be forever tied to our present moment, but the album is simultaneously a tribute to the kind of youthful friendships that are difficult to savor before they’re gone.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Mush - Lines Redacted Music Album Reviews Mush - Lines Redacted Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, February 19, 2021 Rating: 5

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