06 June 2020

Indie Rock Review: Muzz - Muzz

Release Date: June 5, 2020
Label: Matador Records

Newly-formed Indie-Rock supergroup, Muzz swings a velvet hammer on their self-titled debut album. Interpol frontman Paul Banks is joined by old friends Matt Barrick (The Walkmen) on drums and Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horsemen) on everything else.

There is a familiar soft acoustic 70's classic rock vibe that feels like a synthesis of Mike Nesmith, America, The Allman Brothers, and Marshall Crenshaw. Yet with all these strains crying out for recognition, the end result is inspiring and unique.

"Bad Feeling" sets the tone, fuzing in a subtle lo-fi hum, like crickets on a summer night. The lyrics are deep and profound and the meaning isn't often clear upon the first listen. "We're pretty ancient, that's what all the silence means. Speed runs the whole generation, the torment of ease." The velvet hammer hits hard on the infectious gem "Evergreen" which speaks of love, addiction, and dependency, "One medication, one thing to bring you over. ... Don't ever really need it, somehow it's taking over."

The single, "Red Western Sky" is a hauntingly perilous expression of low self-worth which feels a lot The National's dramatic hurtling. "Everything Like it Used to Be" is Byrd's-sounding track with layered rhythms and harmonies and one of the stronger cuts on the album. It's not all mellow gold, however. "Knuckleduster," and "How Many Days," pack a punch and Josh Kaufman's skilled guitar work comes front and center.

All in all, Muzz has dropped a promising debut from three friends whose talents blend well. Paul Bank's seductive and polished vocals ride nicely over Barrick and Kaufman's smart sonic textures. It's a laid-back summer sound which will go down nicely by the pool, along the beach or on the open road with the windows rolled down.

- Tom Endyke | Guitar & Pen

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