The third, and latest, self-titled EP from Ottawa’s punk outfit, Muelkik, is short and vicious. There’s almost nothing on this EP that steps out of a typical punk sound, but their passionate delivery makes up for that fact. Their vocals are gravelly, their guitars are loud, and, unfortunately, their rhythm section is kinda sloppy.
On a record as short as this, every ambitious rhythm transition has to be seamless, or it’ll stick out like a sore thumb. “You Think.You Know.You Don’t.” is a track with a slowed-down, cow-punk vibe that is marred by rhythm issues almost immediately. Thankfully, the song is saved with a cute sample from Fight Club at the end. The album’s closer, “Return of Captain Anarchy,” has this problem as well. It makes it sound more sluggish than it might have been otherwise.
Muelkik’s use of samples is unprecedented for such a straightforward, punk band. It provides a charm and wit that acts as a breath of fresh air on a record as serious as this one. The EP opens with the aptly named “A Brief Introduction;” chaotic guitar notes, a sample of the voice of a southern preacher, and a radio announcer drawing attention to the band’s peculiar spelling choice for their name (which is pronounced like ‘mule-kick’ by the way).
The southern preacher sample makes another appearance on “Dance,” a rager that sounds like Eternal Cowboy era Against Me!, a comparison that suits all of the EP’s eight songs. On a personal level, this comparison is the EP’s greatest strength since Against Me! is one of my favourite bands and Muelkik emulates my favourite era of their career. As a music critic, however, this is a double-edged sword. Here at Bucketlist, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring you new music that you haven’t heard before, and in many ways Muelkik fails at meeting that criteria.
Punk rock is notorious for being resistant to change, and while Muelkik’s use of samples feels like a breath of fresh air, they’ve only opened that window a smidge. If you’re looking for aggressive and high-octane rock songs, by all means, then look no further.
Written by Brian Charles Clarke
*edited by Danielle Kenedy