Muzz: Muzz (Matador) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, July 13th, 2020  

Muzz

Muzz

Matador

Jun 04, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


In order to appreciate Muzz, you must first banish all expectations about this so-called super-group. It’s not what you would think a band consisting of singer Paul Banks (Interpol, Julian Plenti, Banks + Steelz), drummer Matt Barrick (Jonathan Fire*Eater, The Walkmen), and producer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, The National, The War on Drugs) would sound like, but that’s also exactly what you should expect. 

The members of Muzz already have some serious indie rock cred and certainly have nothing to prove. But, their collective body of work has set the bar high for any joint ventures. And their self-titled debut LP, Muzz, doesn’t disappoint.

The brooding, serrated indie rock of Interpol and the grittiness of The Walkmen have been shelved and replaced in favor of a warm and fuzzy kind of rock with woozy orchestrations and a pleasant swirl of sound. However, Banks’ distinctive, husky baritone remains, sounding more polished than ever. Muzz certainly has a talent for conjuring up classic sounds with a post-modern dynamism. The surreal quality of the songs’ arrangements adds to the feeling of being enveloped and enraptured by whimsies and trances, as they move through a varied rock landscape of sublime melodies.

Some of the album’s 12 tracks feel more like conceptual musical ideas with clever arrangements, playful horns, and a pleasant cacophony of motley instrumentation rather than fully formed “songs.” Shorter songs—such as opener “Bad Feeling,” “Chubby Checker,” and the wonderfully elegant “Red Western Sky”—play off a single groove or end too soon just as they begin picking up momentum. Others such as “Knuckleduster” and “How Many Days” are atmospheric rockers that jam out without being overbearing. 

Much like your favorite pair of relaxed-fit jeans, broken in over time for a comfortable, casual aesthetic, the complex character of Muzz gradually unfurls into a terrifically cool album that should be wholly appreciated with repeated plays. (store.matadorrecords.com/muzz)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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