The Mudd Club: Bottle Blonde (Raving Pop Blast!)
Teenage Delinquent Garage Punks from Wales via Kansas. Brother and sister, 13 and 19 effortlessly reinvigorate basic Rock’n’Roll comic-book style. One of Ged Babey’s ‘Greatest Bands In The History of the World Ever!’ or beginners luck?
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, there was an infamous Noo York venue called The Mudd Club, we all know that… this band are kids maan, they don’t know nuthin… so stop ya whining….)
The Mudd Club are just so-oooooo good.
They are so instantly likeable: so simple, raw, dumb, trashy, funny, obvious, natural, talented, effortless….so basic!
‘Going Back-to-Basics’ – is a real music journalism cliché – like ‘return to form’. The Mudd Club aren’t going back anywhere – they ARE pretty much absolute beginners. Or rather they are kids who don’t feel the need to ‘progress’ beyond garage-trash technique.
They use the basic building blocks of kickin’ R’n’R: 50’s twang & whoop, 60’s fuzz & waaah!. 70’s buzz & ugh!: Fun, Attitude and Volume. 3 chords and some dumb rhymes. The magic, winning formula.
The Mudd Club are a Garage-Punk band consisting of guitarist Sadie Capps, Drummer Julian West and bassist Huw Hickman. Sadie and Julian grew up in landlocked Lawrence, Kansas where they developed an affinity for surf music and record collecting, both of which inspired them to venture up to their attic to bash out surf tunes and mutant strains of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s rock n roll. (says the Raving Pop Blast fact-sheet)
They sound like the Sonics, Ramones ‘n’ Cramps all rolled into one – only they don’t. They capture the essence rather than a note-for-note, A-Tribute-To kinda way.
All their songs sound the same: sorta – BUT they all sound like the greatest song ever written – for its duration!
Sadie Morningstar the singer/guitarist/songwriter is something of a reluctant musician – she was dragged around on tour with her parents (working musicians) all through her childhood and early teenage years. Her way of rebelling should have been getting a boring job in IT or finance. Instead she finally thought ‘fuck it’, gotta be better than 9-to-5…
Sadie is at the centre of The Mudd Club -singer/guitarist/lyricist/video director – but the fact her kid brother Julian is up for it – a good drummer for his age, willing to dress-up and wig-out for the videos – makes it more than a solo project. He is in the Asteroids as well I believe and this is his finest three minutes from a couple years back (not on the LP)
I don’t know quite where bass-player Huw fits in, but assume he’s a friend or family too. Probably useful for stopping any sibling bickering.
The album has ten songs. It’s short, but oh-so sweet!
Bored To Death – self explanatory. Just such a PuNkrOcK title.
Bottle Blonde – is self-deprecating genius – watch the video…
Killin’ Me – is a bluesy chugger, Standells style. Could be a cover, but I don’t think so…
Love’s Not Dead is a very cool bit of Headcoatees style punkarama about finally finding the right boyfriend – only he died in 1965! Almost turns into the White Stripes Hotel Zorba but not quite!
Papercut – The fact that Sadie was born in the States and lived there until recently means her American accent is NOT fake (hi Billy NoMates!) When she sings the word ‘fucking’ it’s ‘fuggin’ in a very cool way, as if she doesn’t want her Granma to hear her cussin’.
She Creature is a fabulous hip-shaker about the evil women do – on which Sadie perfects her Gerry Rosalie type Waaaaaaaa-aaargh!
Sick – greatest lo-budget video in the history of lo-budget videos.
Surf Kansas – Kansas is land-locked. There are no fuggin’ waves.
TV Girl – A song about subverting the male gaze and female empowerment, unrealistic expectations imposed on the young female by a patriarchal society…. Is it fuck, says Sadie – stop trying to find something deep an’ meaningful in my songs you asshole! **
Wombat Twist – a song about the ‘short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupial that is native to Australia’ enjoying ‘a dance that was inspired by rock and roll music which became a worldwide dance craze’.
The Mudd Club are my latest ‘Greatest Band In The History of the World Ever!’ and are young, dumb and full of fun!
Buy from Bandcamp
Mudd Club Facebook
Also Available Now on Raving Pop Blast! Volume 2 of their Nuggets-style multi-band compilation albums Strange Creatures (The Best Of Rebels Volume Two) featuring 16 bands “all different, but all with the true spirit of rock and roll racing through their veins. Call it GARAGE ROCK, GARAGE PUNK, MOD, FREAKBEAT, POP-PSYCH! DIY INDIE! – whatever floats your boat…the bottom line here is this is ESSENTIAL Life-affirming! Simply Thrilling pop music! Made with LOVE! (Profits to the R.S.P.C.A)”
Basically, it’s just as good as Volume 1 Rebel Rousers (10/10 rating when reviewed on LTW), but I’m too busy enjoying it to write about it. And it just doesn’t need analysis and breaking down into its constituent parts as it it one, vibrant, life-affirming whole. (GB)
All words Ged Babey
** Sadie quote is ‘fake’.She did not say it. The reviewer is using artistic licence.