Thursday, June 4, 2015
Cassette Review: The Mumzees "Heavy Desert" (Broken Hip Records)
[$8 // http://brokenhiprecords.com/product/heavy-desert-tape/]
I've come to the point in my life where I no longer care what a band name means any more as long as it begins with the word "the". I think it has to do with the movie "That Thing You Do!" and how the band was called "The Oneders" in it and they wanted it pronounced as "The Wonders", though everyone kept saying it as "Oh-knee-durs". Or maybe it was "Airheads" and how they were called "The Lone Rangers" but there were three of them in the band. Either way, I tried to google what a "mumzee" (or "mumzy") was and a lot of it came back as "munzee", which if you don't know what that means then you'll probably not feel any better after learning what it means, but I came to the conclusion that the best interpretation of this name is that "mumzy" means "mom" and so this is essentially "The Moms" and why they have that name just brings me back to every other band ever called "The Something" because, well, why does it have to make any sense, right?
What matters most is and always should be the music, so rather than thinking about why this is called "Heavy Desert", let's just focus on what it sounds like. At first, this has a definite class rock feel to it. There are fuzzy riffs and a little screamy/punk wildness. Heavy chords bring it into a place that is metal-esque before it then brings out a sound that is somewhat psychedelic. In some ways it reminds me of Jane's Addiction combined with Stone Temple Pilots, though if you chose the right two songs from those bands they'd probably sound somewhat similar and the lines would begin to blur anyway so to truly appreciate that you probably have to be hearing the specific songs by those bands that I'm hearing and I just can't seem to name them so we'll move on.
Some pieces of High Pop and Tora Tora Torrence can come out as this also can have that distortion of Nirvana's "In Bloom". This leads into clean, big chords that could even bring The Clash to mind and as such this just goes from rock n roll to punk, from classic to modern. There is also a certain aspect of what I like to call howling rock in here and it just happens to be a good way to describe this even though it might not be a term anyone wants to stick. Fast and distorted, in a 1-2-3-4-GO! sense, and then slower at times as well it can bring out that Flaming Lips sound which only seems like an obvious place to go considering where the comparisons have already been. But, you know, for all of the bands I've been listening to lately and putting in this sort of High Pop/TTT field, and it hasn't been as many as I make it out to be, the fact is this is only because rock n roll has been struggling for a while.
At some point in time, rock n roll was not necessarily killed off but forced to live in the background of other music that claimed to be rock n roll but really wasn't. I'm not going to name any names (or call other bands out) except to say that it all kind of started with Creed and has been a bit downhill since then. I've always imagined that since a lot of what was perceived to be rock n roll these days is in fact not that most of the younger bands coming up wouldn't want to try and take on such a sound because I'm pretty sure even Creed doesn't want to sound like Creed.
So to find these bands is a blessing because these kids are still growing up, listening to real rock n roll and then creating an actual rock n roll sound. It certainly gives me hope for the future. But I feel like the lack of good (mainstream) bands for such a long while has really left me with minimal influences to compare this with. You just have to know that it rocks the way that music was meant to rock. Play it loud and play it often.