The Mudlarks! is a band from Cincinnati, Ohio comprised of Todd Witt (vocals/guitars/keyboard), Max Cole (drums), Jimmy D (vocals/guitar) and Bob "Lamb" Lambert (bass/vocals). The band released their self-titled EP The Mudlarks! and it’s hard to give anything other than the broadest classification of rock possible. Throughout the ten songs they play songs that sound inspired from ’70s punk to Pink Floyd-esque. Anyway you look at it all these these songs seem influenced by the late ’60s and early to mid ’70s.
They start off with a fast punk inspired song called “Help us.” English punk bands from the ’70s like The Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols come to mind. If you don’t hear a bit of Johnny Rotten in his vocals you aren’t listening close enough. Oddly enough the guitar solo feels like it came from a classic rock song.
The band immediately switches gears with “Red Window” which is more comparable to classic rock but also one of the band’s most original sounding tracks. With that you might also hear the CBGB alumni known as Television in this groove. “Red Window” is a highlight. It’s one of the catchier songs on the album and I thought the percussion on the verse was particularly enjoyable.
Once I got to “Losing Track” I wasn’t quite sure where this album was headed. Sounding farther from anything punk that the album was introduced with “Losing Track” sounds a lot more like the music of Neil Young. In fact whoever is singing this track sounds like Neil Young. “Dirty Things” is another highlight and one of the more original sounding tracks. A pretty straight forward rock track with enjoyable vocals and lead guitar.
The band gets back into punk territory with “You Love You” and “This Storm.” Up next is the biggest deviation with “Mea Culpa” which seems like a tip of the hat to Pink Floyd. The band then seems to hark back to Americana rock in the essence of “Born To Be Wild” with “Trav-L-Lodge” which would work fine in the movie Easy Rider. I’m not sure what was going on with the person mumbling in the background but just found it confusing and getting in the way of the lead vocal. They close with a slow moving rock burner “Sunrise.” This time around the singer sounds like David Bowie?! when he sings.
The Mudlarks! Isn’t exactly the most focused album I heard this year. The band hops around from sub-genre to sub-genre while wearing their influences on their sleeve. I would have liked to hear more of the essence of The MudLarks! throughout the album. This is the only minor qualm I have with the album. The songwriting, delivery and production is solid. I think anyone who has enjoyed some of the aforementioned bands will enjoy what The Mudlarks! bring to the table.
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