This month, I’ve been tasked with reviewing an album that could best be described as an amalgamation of industrial, rock, and stoner. I’ve had to dive deep into the well of my musical knowledge to accurately represent the sounds that filled my ears for the last week and a half. It was quite the trip, and I implore you all to get ready for the barrage of words I’m about to employ.
MUX are a three-piece outfit based of out London, England. Their debut EP, ‘Can You See Who?’, will be released at the end of March 2017. It was written and recorded by Tiz, the vocalist amongst other things, on a desk half a meter away from his bed. If I hadn’t of been told, I never would have known. The mix is superb with each instrument blended to a near perfection. My favourite is the guitar tones that drip dirty distortion which are played by Jonas. It cuts through the undertones of the percussions and synths; enough to gouge out that ball of wax lodged in your ear canal for a decade or more. It is most prevalent during their opening track “MDMA.” At the 20-second mark, the bend and wail of the guitar would make Muse proud.
I got to give a lot of props to Tiz for his vocal performance. Throughout the EP, he captures you with low lines, ala Alex Turner, while also not being afraid to tangle your hair with soul screeching sounds straight out of a Matthew Bellamy, Trent Reznor, Sebastien Grainger human centipede. The 6/8 beast “Stray” best showcases his abilities.
Tiz is also responsible for the synth work on the album. There are times that I don’t agree with some of the sounds he conjures. There is an odd electronic woodblock sound behind everything in “MDMA” that feels out of place. They don’t drag the songs down; they just make me scratch my head in wonderment. I feel like there is a better way to represent the sound and the song. That said, his bass lines are stellar; they’ll permeate your bones. While it’s true that I prefer “organic” instruments to their “computer” counterparts, in this case, the levels reached on his synth far exceed what he could have done on the ole four string thunder.
Lastly, I have to comment on the flow of the tracks. Good. Great. Grand! Each song has an ebb and flow that’s masterfully crafted and pulls you along. While most times this is the product of a good song-writer (Tiz), I feel that a large portion of the praise should be heaped upon the maestro behind the mallets, Paul. No matter where the song takes you, he’s directing it with a deft touch; whether it’s cleverly crashing the cymbals or a singular stomp of the kick drum, he does all required to push the song along and get you grooving.
These cats hail from across the pond, so if you’re in London on the 4th of March, 2017, I’d recommend checking out their show at The Bloc. Follow this link for all the details.
For those of us stuck on the Western wall of that body of water, we’ll just have to wait for their first music video for “MDMA,” which will be dropping mid-March. I, for one, am stoked to see it. When the EP drops, give the band a listen and let me know about it in the comments section below.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Danielle Kenedy