Label: Memphis Industries
Released: 12th February 2021
At the moment, it’s hard not to feel as though if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Luckily, Mush are channelling a steady stream of bizarre punk-satire with ‘Lines Redacted’, their second album release in 12 months. Brimming with equal counts comedy and catastrophe, Dan Hyndman cranks his scathing songwriting and vocals to 11, then pairs them with fuzzed-out bass and brash percussion to make a painfully accurate depiction of the times we live in.
Painting a crystal clear cartoon of modern idiocy, Mush have obviously spent the last year with their ear to the ground, translating our zeitgeist into a jaunty Hanna Barbera equivalent. ‘Drink The Bleach’ blows the album opens with a familiar blast of moronic health advice, “On the inside / Peroxide Dye / What could go wrong? / Blondes have more fun” Even when it’s difficult to understand Hyndman’s slurred cadence, the erratic guitar accompaniment makes it clear that Mush are firing shots that land exactly on target. ‘Positivity’ pastiches the more nuanced oddities of British life, the strange compulsion to pretend everything is swell. “Happy clappy country / riding on the crest of a wave of optimism,” but Hyndman makes it all too clear that before long, that wave is set to crash and drown us all. But you’ve got to laugh, haven’t you?
Mush aren’t giving you a chance to get comfortable with the weird way the world has changed, they use this album as a retrospective for the last year of mayhem and to remind us that things aren’t usually this ridiculous, are they? Whether it’s by cutting lyricism or guitar accompaniment that wanders and wanes as erratically as the headlines, there’s an undeniable feeling of currency that makes ‘Lines Redacted’ feel as though it belongs precisely in the here and now.