Following on from their ‘Induction Party E.P’, Leeds based Mush are circulating their own sonic mythology, blurring the lines between abstract surrealism, existentialism and social commentary. Like its predecessor ‘3D Routine’ is a sensory overload of clattering, hooky, guitar work. However, this time space emerges between the onslaughts and in this respite, room is found for new emotional depth. More expansive than ever before, ‘3D Routine’ manages to maintain the rawness of a classic debut but it’s experimentation and variety portray a band unlikely to rest on their ‘guitar
First single, Eat the Etiquette, described by Hyndman as a “a bit of a stream of consciousness type rant”, takes aim at the use of ‘common sense’ as societal weapon; the “sick laughing track of malicious intent” making a mockery of progressive ideas, while “manufactured sense” helps maintain the underlying and iniquitous structures of wealth and power. It’s out now in all the usual places. You can listen right now without clicking out into the Internet ether via SoundCloud below.
Songwriter Dan Hyndman explains the genesis of the band as being “fairly boiler plate” a combination of friends old and new converging in Leeds post-uni to form a band predominantly united in their mutual affection for the Pavement back catalogue. Finally settling on a lineup of Nick Grant (bass), Tyson (guitar) and Phil Porter (drums) the band’s progression has taken them far beyond this original vision.
Having garnered local attention in the early days for their unhinged and often calamitous live shows in Leeds, it was the unlikely radio hit ‘Alternative Facts’, (clocking in at an uncompromising ten minutes) that brought the Mush to the attention of a wider audience. The song, one of the last releases for the legendary Too Pure Singles Club saw early support from Marc Riley and others on BBC 6 Music with them playing multiple sessions, and the follow up single, ‘Gig Economy’ hopping onto the 6 Music playlist. Roaming further afield from their hometown, Mush spent the first half of 2019 heading out around the UK, earning a reputation for their intense live performances, supporting the likes of Girl Band, The Lovely Eggs, Yak, Shame and Stereolab, as well as releasing the ‘Induction Party’ EP to great acclaim. At the tail end of summer of 2019 Mush headed to Leeds’ Green Mount Studio and with Andy Savours (Dream Wife, Our Girl, My Bloody Valentine) manning the mixing desk, their debut LP, ‘3D Routine’ was born.
If the EP was intended as admittance to the cult, ‘3D Routine’ is a fully-fledged manifesto for the age of misinformation. The twin disciplines of surrealism and realism collide in the data stream, creating the absurdity of modern times. It’s more than the lyrical content that’s mercurial with Mush. Tracks such as ‘Revising My Fee’s incisive yet worldly lyrics comment on the work/life balance, income to rent ratios and the increasingly worrying financial landscape for the younger generation, all set against a backdrop of a decade of austerity: “meal-deal critique, aspirational creed”. It’s a vital and instructive opener for the record, setting the tone for what comes next.
The way in which the album brazenly moves from polished 3- minute punk tracks, to avant-garde spoken word, to sardonic-political funk, whilst sounding like the same band is testament to an uncompromisingly unrefined ethic and compounds the jarring nature of Mush. Together, the songs form a unified, abrasive, emotive, frenetic and entirely beguiling concoction of sound and opinion, a fast-moving snapshot of current times, relatable, politically minded and incredibly personal. Music for those who want their guitars loud and weird, and their political commentary a little less ‘on the nose’.
‘3D Routine’ is available on ltd edition orange coloured vinyl from Mush’s website here and super limited edition slime vinyl from Rough Trade, Jumbo and Crash record shops.
14th Feb 2020
1. Revising My Fee
2. Eat The Etiquette
3. Existential Dread
4. Coronation Chicken
5. Island Mentality
6. Fruits Of The Happening
7. Hey Gammon Head
8. 3D Routine
9. Gig Economy
10. Poverty Pornography
11. No Signal In The Paddock
12. Alternative Facts
Mush will be supporting the release with a UK in-store tour in February plus have been announced for Transmusicales Festival in Rennes. Dates as follows:
07 December – Transmusicales, Rennes, France
18 February – Rough Trade East, Nottingham, UK
19 February – Rough Trade East, Bristol, UK
20 February – Rough Trade East, London, UK