Muzz
Muzz


2.5
average

Review

by The Aspie Fantastie USER (5 Reviews)
June 16th, 2020 | 18 replies


Release Date: 06/05/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Originality often falls casualty in side-projects.

Producing work parallel to your main musical project can mean one of two things: you either wish to expand the range of your stylistic scope, experiment, venture in unexplored directions, or you’d rather stick to your strengths and deliver something familiar, tried and true. It appears that by means of collaboration a trio of musicians now titled Muzz found a way of compartmentalising their interests in splitting off of their main courses with going the smallest distance from the said familiar.* Due to their musicianship commonalities, previous repertoire and a shared penchant for this specific kind of music I was fearful that the collaboration will very likely exude newness as only fusion of caterpillar, catered pillar and a cat or pillar can. Now my fears subside and mere despondency presides.

If anything is a change of pace, it is Paul Banks’ lyrical content. His writing is not as nonsensical and Dadaistic as on any of the Interpol records; you can really sense the seething middle age crisis. But Interpol won’t release a new album in a while now and Bonny Light Horseman was probably a one-off thing, so Muzz have to be the kings regent of sloppy sleepy rock-isms. In an effort to sound – I believe – hypnotising or at least attempting to convince you of their instrumental maturity, every song seems more repetitive and saccharine. It does not matter that “Evergreen” sounds like a late nineties bedroom indie rendition of late two-thousands Interpol songs or that “Broken Tambourine” has the melodic substance of a nursery rhyme slowed down 500% (remember that Youtube trend?), Muzz will make sure the songs seem like they go forever with unnecessary instrumental passages or maddening repeats of choruses.

Rare is the occasion that this structure of eternal recurrence to a point of fatigue bears fruit. “Knuckleduster” is a stellar atmospheric track perfectly capturing each member’s adroit talent. Lyrics are some of the clearest and most poignant on the album, telling the story of Paul apparently reuniting with an old acquaintance who – tragically and irresponsibly enough – has not changed since their youth, “Making all the same mistakes again”. And the chorus swells to emotional climax. Repetitiveness is virtue here, as the increasingly intricate instrumentation build into something enrapturing. One other such cut is “How Many Days”, in which Muzz finally become masters of the subtlety they tried to convey, which in turn enslaved them all the way until this point. Arrangement is minimal elevating fragility of Paul Banks’ voice, as opposed to dulling him down even more. Josh Kaufman’s buzzing guitar solo adds disorderly psychedelic tinges, furthering emotion and dolorous mood of the song.

Occasional separate flashes of brilliance in hazy waters of needlessly tenuous dread are not enough to save you though. Attempt at dreamy atmosphere turned sleepy and tired. If this album were illness, it’d be narcolepsy. In fearing to venture even an inch outside of their shared comfort zones, the Banks-Kaufman-Barrick trio have achieved a uniquely uneventful project. Their undeniable musical talents were corrupted by compromise and the end result is them shaping their creative into a beige wallpaper: dull and soulless.


*Funnily enough, Paul Banks is no stranger to unseemly collaborations outside of his comfort zone. Does anyone remember the ill-conceived Banks & Steelz?


user ratings (21)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
someone
June 16th 2020


3146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

corrections welcome. have a nice hot tea and discuss

bloc
June 16th 2020


65715 Comments


Curious to hear this due to the Banks involvement

Digging: Rochelle Jordan - Play With The Changes

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2020


24533 Comments


Excellent write-up my dear.

I remember I peeped this a couple of days ago and felt the most meh of mehs.

Digging: Kultivator - Barndomens Stigar

someone
June 17th 2020


3146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

thanks a plenty. also commendable dig you have right there, Bobby Hutcherson is an ace for the ages

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2020


24533 Comments


Heard it yesterday and specially the first half blew my fucking mind.

someone
June 17th 2020


3146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I reviewed an album he was heavily featured on just a few days ago here; heavy afrojazz influences, very fun, Ethiopian Knights it is called, you might want to look into it.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2020


24533 Comments


Will check it, thanks!

ian b
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2020


1982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this quite easily takes the cake as the most average project i think i might've ever heard

Skash
June 17th 2020


22 Comments


i quite liked this The National demo from 00s

StickFeit
June 17th 2020


1644 Comments


I actually found this to be quite nice and relaxing. Sure it's not reinventing te wheel, but still.

someone
June 17th 2020


3146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

An Interpol 00s demo would've had more edge.

AxeToFall93
June 17th 2020


298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is so bland.

hel9000
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2020


1204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Meh, it's a pretty muted album stylistically but I think they all have an easy chemistry that makes this a bit better than it maybe should be. I actually really like about half the songs here, and the production is nice.

StickFeit
June 17th 2020


1644 Comments


First half fucks

parksungjoon
May 4th 2021


32249 Comments


woah didnt know u reviewed

someone
May 4th 2021


3146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

On occasion

parksungjoon
May 4th 2021


32249 Comments


yea i posted on 2 of the others but didnt know about this

someone
May 4th 2021


3146 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

made a new one, parks



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