Mugison: Mugiboogie

I just don’t know what to make of Mugiboogie. Or Mugison for that matter. His first two albums were rated 1.5 and four [clowns] respectively over at the old joint. This album, released a couple of years later, is more like the former but, I think, even more all over the map, where you have no idea what kind of a vibe you should be in. He transitions abruptly from death metal to punk to lo-fi acoustic guitar. His vocals can be guttural, screamy, or sweetly crooning. There is absolutely no cohesion to this disc.

That’s a huge flaw, but honestly, it’s kind of its only one. I feel like this should be at least two albums, if not three, with the styles separated across them. There are times when I’m listening where I want to absolutely love it…for a wide variety of reasons because this is such a whiplash of stylistic diversity. However, when it comes time to listen to it, I dread it. I know I’ll be constantly adjusting the volume from the screamers (aside: This is how you do the loudness wars. If you want to record too hot and make it a part of your sound, please go see Mugison to do it right for you. If you don’t want it as part of your sound, don’t do it.) to the acoustic tracks that always seem to start off with muttering or an aborted start on guitar.

The stretch from tracks nine through 11 is the toughest. “Two Thumb Sucking Son Of A Boyo,” the album’s worst track, starts off with a horrible scream that masks what turns into a pretty cool song. This is followed by one of the album’s two best songs, “The Great Unrest” (the other being the, I think, ode to phone sex, “Jesus Is A Good Name To Moan”), a sweeping, majestically orchestrated work of beauty. And then right when he’s got you swept up in that wave, he drops you into the lowest-fidelity track on the album, “My Love I Love.” And if all that wasn’t disturbing enough, consider the juxtaposition of beautiful, sweetly sung music and the lyrics on “Deep Breathing”: “My mom is making sounds/Like she’s about to die,” which kind of set the tone for the entire track.

It’s a challenging-as-hell album that’s more challenging than it should be. I don’t really want to listen to it, at least not the way I listen to most music in my life right now, but if I just happen to be in the perfect mood, I can really get into the awesome experiments with instrumentation, production, rhythm…it’s really cool how what at first seems completely out of whack ends up coming together into really awesome music.

Rating:
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– “The Pathetic Anthem,” “Jesus Is A Good Name To Moan,” “I’m Alright,” “The Great Unrest,” “Sweetest Melody”
– “Mugiboogie,” “To The Bone,” “George Harrison,” “Deep Breathing,” “The Animal,” “Two Thumb Sucking Son Of A Boyo,” “My Love I Love”
Filed Between: Mugison’s Little Trip and Murphy’s Law (Dedicated)
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Mugiboogie – This is the way to get the sound too hot. It sounds good. Ends really well.
  2. The Pathetic Anthem – Just him and a guitar and a tapping foot(?) here. Pretty good groove. Keeps chorusing himself(?) in on backup vox.
  3. To The Bone – Here it’s sparser and more agitated.
  4. Jesus Is A Good Name To Moan – about phone sex? Strong four on the floor beat.
  5. George Harrison – Real quiet. This and the next remind me of Kaada/Patton a bit. I hate the way this starts. But I like the middle and end.
  6. Deep Breathing – Lush.
  7. I’m Alright – metalish.
  8. The Animal – super reminiscent of Beck. Ha, totally forgot that my review of Mugimama criticized everybody for comparing him to Beck. The anti-U.S. one.
  9. Two Thumb Sucking Son Of A Boyo – Starts with guy screaming title then gets pretty heavy.
  10. The Great Unrest – Strings, big instrumentation. Pretty sweet. Starts off quiet, has slow build.
  11. My Love I Love – Like a Jack Logan audio effect.
  12. Sweetest Melody – Big finish with the “I’m singing/swinging the blues”. Again recorded too hot, but it works.
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