2013 – Independent
Gypsy/ Folk/ Ska/ Punk
Frantic Brisbane based gypsy-fusion punk rockers The Mouldy Lovers have delivered on all of the promises made by their debut EP Kakistocracy with this first album. It jumps and bounces with a certain youthfully anarchistic flair while at the same time displaying a well honed sense of musicality which just gets your feet tapping along whether you like it or not.
Starting out with the title track of the album we are instantly gratified with a much richer and well produced sound than was heard on Kakistocracy and also the issue of the band’s incredibly weak vocals seems to have been fixed with singer Louis Whelan’s voice coming across with power that grabs you by the throat. Really I was I very impressed right from the outset with this release and its funky, raw folk inspired raucousness.
Every eclectic style that’s thrown into this melting pot just works so well with this band. From the wild Slavic instrumental polka of But But But (Onomatopoeia) to the bluegrass of Wake In Fright (featuring Laneous) everything is executed so deftly that it all seems to sweep together into one delightfully full record. I mean, normally I might criticize a bad like this for not being able to decide on a direction citing their disparate musical references to and borrowings from ska, folk, punk, and flamenco among other things, but with Yonder Ruckus I get the feeling that the group know exactly what they are doing. It is not by accident that these flippant folksters jump from style to style with each track. No, they know precisely where the music is going and how that will work to get their audience dancing with the fever of their desired destination.
It is also nice to hear the band sticking to their punk roots despite their round the world ticket of musical referentiality. The record as whole is just so wonderfully snotty and juvenile as it smilingly spits in the face of accepted ‘rock’ music while still managing to make an incredible amount of noise. The drums pound and crash with all the energy of a Black Flag show and the horn section blares out in loud defiance of genteel jazz while all the time the piano-accordion ties this whirlpool of chaos together with a snarky melody. It really is something delightful to behold.
I will say, however, that Yonder Ruckus does get a tad too bound up in its frenzied punk aesthetic and sarcastic gypsy silliness. Demons Of Mine, for example, presented as more of a tedious joke track than anything I’d really like to spend my time listening too and Erotic Novel (featuring Robert Zosars), while musically a lot of fun, nearly got too much in terms of unnecessary sleaze. I think perhaps I would like to have heard the band start to take themselves a bit more seriously than they did with their last release, but it appears that they can’t help but be a least a little bit of a joke. Maybe it’s because their sound is becoming so honed and punchy and they’re afraid of becoming too serious, or maybe it’s just that they don’t actually realize how ridiculous they are, but either way I would prefer not have been presented with the nonsense of Food Fight directly after the well crafted hit-worthy Wake In Fright.
So in conclusion I would have to say that The Mouldy Lover’s album Yonder Ruckus is wonderful, but not quite great. The band play very well and their song-writing is something that most groups would be envious of, but their shyness towards substance and depth is somewhat off-putting. It is definitely more than just a worthwhile album, as a matter of it is very good and I would definitely recommend purchasing the record and giving it a good, thorough listen, because I have no doubt that you will be able to have a lot of fun with the wild rhythms that are presented here, but I think that the band still have some way to go before they really hit their peak.
And here is the official clip for the title track from this fantastic Brisbane band’s first full length record.
- Kakistocracy – The Mouldy Lovers (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)