• musk Musk (LP, £16.50)

    label: Holy Mountain

    MUSK is the new flesh, or at least what’s secreted from the glands located under the skin. Frontman Rob Fletcher is the last guy in the world you’d think had pheromones; they might work on him, but his voice is definitely in the “let’s get the fuck away from this guy” category, with his undeniable ability to growl, spit, shriek and wretch while the band attacks. Drummer Brendan Leonard is a total can-basher, and bass-player John Laux is sublime. He’s not even there at times, but he is, like the whispers of forced air you heard when you were listening to Tical on wet that one time. Like, is that really there? It feels like it’s been there forever. The weird thing about MUSK is that on top of all this malign beauty—what sounds like the six movies John Saxon made in Italy that nobody except the biggest creeps in the world know about, or Beefheartian blues lurch juxtaposed against that lost ’80s pigfuck clangor—guitarist Chris Owen bleeds reverb everywhere, as if his amp had a heart to be stabbed, but it’s just a cone about to rupture. His leads give off a sick, dusty twang, pained as if in their death throes (which is saying something, because the guy looks like the dad from The Family Circus). Each dying twitch and every belligerent throb was captured by engineer Chris Woodhouse (Oh Sees, Fuzz, Ty Segall, Intelligence). Whether working the muggy Southern Gothic angle or treading knee-deep in NYC’s pungent sewers, all routes on Musk lead to a cold, shuddering finality. Long live the new flesh! “… a Scientists-infused dip into the swamp… the only band even close to the scree they unleash is Sicko Inside Me-era Necessary Evils mixed with a bit of the first Horrors LP and dare I even say some of the nastier Hunches efforts. Absolutely ferocious guitar sound that’s going to have some people jealous. With Woodhouse on the deck, it’s of course a real stunner… giving ’em the perfect ratio of reverb-to-spit, trash-canning the drums perfectly and a bass tough enough to stand up to the nastiest guitar sound since… shit, I dunno. It’s pretty bad ass. Watch out for these maniacs.” — Rich Kroneiss, Terminal Boredom “Primitive sludge with an ample amount of weirdness, MUSK’s music is deft combination of Flipper, later Scientists, various AmRep swamp dwellers and DEVO if the Akronites were forced to play in a tar pit.” —Scott Soriano, S-S Records

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