Just Mustard - 'Frank'
The Dundalk five piece follow up their exciting debut album with a noisy, confused slab of bliss.
Just Mustard are yet another Irish band who are highly against your primitive categorization. To blast this collective as simply a shoegaze band is simply derogatory. There's so much of their debut album Wednesday to admire (somehow only eight tracks long but manages to shoehorn industrial noise, trip-hop, post-punk, electronics and dream pop together in a way that both makes sense and unsettles in equal measure) and that alone has driven them into the subconscious of those of us obsessing over the thriving alternative scene that's around right now. High profile support slots with Fontaines DC and White Lies has caused them no problems but their brand new single "Frank" will act as a call out to any of the critics who dismiss them as a band who are pulling on the coat-tails of others.
"Frank" is almost catchy. For a band who rely on atmosphere, it's a very immediate start. Urgent, pulsating noise almost remeniscent of early Bloc Party soundtracks a nervous, relatable lyric- "I watch TV to fall asleep..." Industrial drums tap out almost a modern hip-hop rhythm underneath cascading guitars. The music itself sounds almost like a waterfall; whilst the rhythm section keeps the song grounded (Katie Ball's haunting vocal melody is almost a separate thing to the rest of the song) it's nothing compared to the chaos of the guitars. Riffs and licks aren't something that Just Mustard are about. With neither guitar acting as lead or rhythm, the willingness to just melt over each other gives the song even more of a left of centre feel. It never climaxes in the traditional sense, rather dropping in and out of itself and providing blasts of noise in places where it considers necessary. It's a great piece of work, it's a natural progression from "Wednesday" and it's going to be released as a double-a side with new track "October" available to hear soon. Soon, Just Mustard aren't gonna be "that band supporting Fontaines DC". If this is anything to go by, expect their fanbase to grow and grow and grow. Also, no "cut the mustard" puns! You're welcome.
Words by James Kitchen