Released: 3rd January 2020
Label: Self Release
Format: CD / LP / DD / DSP
Slave To Sound, The Muggs latest album, really sums up why we are writing for and following At The Barrier…we’re all slaves to sound.
Stuart Copland is currently presenting a musical series investigating why music has such an impact on the human race. This excellent album expresses more than adequately all the best features of why music is so popular. The ‘driving beat,’ is really ‘like a disease.’ From the onset it grabs you and pulls you in…a stunning opener.
Gator provides no let up and rocks on like the title track Slave to Sound. Two breathless opening tracks make you wonder whether you’ll have the stamina to keep up if the rest of the album is like this!
Respite comes in Occupied Blues briefly before the volume is turned up again. As The Muggs continue to ramp it up, excellent harmonies and melody are heard throughout all these strong, dynamic songs, which are expertly produced and constructed.
The songs contained here are not just heavy blasts of noise to please the headbangers but diverse and exciting pieces of music. This band play with a rare freedom and seem willing to challenge themselves by not regurgitating the same old sounds, but experiment and take risks. They are not afraid to borrow either; Raymond Egan’s Magnet and Steel could easily be a sixties rock n roll ballad and there are some Queen-like harmonies on ‘Son and Daughter.’
There is a twist as you approach the ‘tail’ of the album with a spooky horror tale in The Boogens. It begins with a creepy spoof radio play, actors acting the story in vintage radio style before the music soundtrack completes the track, reprised at the end as a pure musical track. The humour abruptly changes with Breaking My Own, a heart-rending song about how upsetting a loved one hurts oneself.
Danny Methric founded The Muggs at the start of the millenium. His gravelly vocals and vigorous guitar riffs combined with Tony DeNardo’s Rhodes keyboard bass have been present for all 20 years of their existence before releasing Slave To Sound. Recently departed Todd Glass completed all the drum parts on Slave To Sound about a year ago before replacement percussionist Zach Pliska joined the band.
We are well accustomed to three-piece bands here producing rocky blues; Rory Gallagher, Cream, The Bachelors (whoops, momentary lapse there!) The Muggs, though not their contemporaries, are equally as capable. If you are as unfamiliar with The Muggs previous output I’m sure you’ll enjoy digging into their past too after you’ve taken in Slave To Sound.
Listen to Patent Pending here.