With a cassette-tape format and glitched black and white photography, expectations of a series of lo-fi renditions of Just Mustard songs are quickly dispelled on this classy extended play.
Recorded for the Part Time Punks show on KXLU, the EP features six tracks including really great versions of ‘Frank’ and ‘October’, which we have already raved about in some detail. Stylistically, the record is a bullseye Just Mustard collection; an odd fractal of chaos, organised with precision, leading to confusion. Unhinged whale-song guitars and hubcap hi-hats generate in themselves a signature sound that would be pure garage wail. It’s a vast sparseness surrounded by the overwhelming power.
In true tape-recorder fashion, 00:00 sees the wailing ‘Curtains’ crawling into the daylight with a surprising rhythmic bounce that I’m don’t remember being there before. It may be dark and brooding, but in this incarnation it invites you to move and sway along. At 03:30 we have ‘Frank’, flickering and creeping light muted beams of light through a ventilation fan, before ‘Pigs’ takes over at 06:40 with its driving flip-flop bass and syncopated rhythm.
At the 11:47 mark, previous single ‘Seven’ trickles through the speakers. The midway break is one of my favourite moments, shattering the throbbing thread of play and making the rest of the song feel like a mantra. ‘Tainted’ follows this at 16:27 with it’s slow shimmer; smoky and glowering with a chorus that really connects. At 20:20 ‘October’ takes on the responsibility of closing the EP, if anything more sombre and edgy than the studio version with a rhythmic clack and swift bass notes providing a solid backbone for the howling guitars.
Musically this live session really hits the spot. It’s the least live sounding live session ever with it’s perfect execution and with Katie Ball’s voice providing a flawless ethereal melody.
The overwhelming feel of this band is one of running through a vast cavern, chased by immense shadows. You’ll be rewinding the white space to re-cue the record again and again. This is one of the best bands around at this point in time.