Seventeen Moments While Waiting For The Tide To Rise with Mudlow raises expectations with a cracking introduction that builds with the growling of Tobias’ adding another textured layer as we are Down In the Snow. What a mix of tonal shades searing horns, fast guitar and drumming that pulls in the beats. This is grungy, oily dirty music that crawls into your soul and makes the world seem less dangerous doesn’t disappoint.
Before we explore the rest of the album as the music rises and falls, who are the Mudlow’s? and where have they been? The band based in Brighton are a trio, described on Facebook as Alternative/Blues/Rock n’Roll. They are in fact an alternative that fits in the all-encompassing box of Americana that excites. The album draws on influences of North Mississippi Hill Country-infused blues, the soul of Steve Cropper and the sardonic approach to vocals and lyrics of Tom Waits. Yes, the influences are from the other side of the Atlantic, but the interpretation, humour and approach is distinctly British. They have garnered an alternative sound that makes perfect sense. They have over their sixteen-year history released albums and more. Waiting For The Tide To Rise is a collection, seventeen tracks on a single album to explore and relish the sound that is Mudlow. Now back to the music the tracks I have picked out just float to the top of a sea of music that swirls and enchants.
Drunken Turkey is powered by alcohol and the blues a winning combination, listen to the words as the lead breaks squeal like a rusty sign being blown in the wind. So far so good and three tracks in with Damn Your Eyes, the lyrics hit you hard as the melody caresses the vocals. Now we are getting to grips with Tobias’ distinctive vocals and the superb bass lines and guitars that pulls through the relentless drum beats, a trio in harmony with astute use of other instrumentation.
Snow is mentioned three times in the titles, we visit Snowhill Farm, acoustic and quieter the focus is on Tobias and the simplicity of the track adds a cold edge that works perfectly. Next time is when we explore Minnesota Snow, starting slow and measured reflecting tonally the hush and changed dynamics after a snowfall. As with so many of the tracks, the layers of tones and emotions create a tonal landscape that engulfs you.
Other tracks that have to be written about are Crackling, in which the guitar intro crackles and shows the skilful guitar playing of Tobias as Matt’s drums brush past and bass deepens the mood. The sound cajoles and the story then unfurls. Had to mention Codename: Toad, fantastic track and intriguing name. The band is playing with full on confidence the music has a swagger and rolls around Tobias’ vocals. The music heats up and the tempo is hot and the sound has that grungy edge full of control and arrogance. The beautiful guitar work in Good Whiskey does for your ears what smooth malt does for the tongue. Soothes away stresses and takes you to a better place.
The album is also available on Vinyl, without the bonus tracks. Seventeen tracks as a download resulting in when on random play the chances of a Mudlow track increases and that has to be a good thing. Alternative just got better with Mudlow in the collection.
Mudlow as you listen to the album, it is easiest just leave it on repeat. The band do not have a formula they play the sound that feels right in the moment so lyrics become another form of instrumentation throughout the seventeen tracks
EIGHTdoodle paws out of TEN …
Mudlow – Waiting for The Tide To Rise – Stag-O-Lee Records
- Down In The Snow
- Drunken Turkey
- Damn Your Eyes
- The Jester
- Stubb’s Yard
- Snowhill Farm
- So Long Lee
- Minnesota Snow
- Letter To Louise
- Mad Mary Lou
- Good Whiskey
- Bad Hand
- Red Ribbon
Tobias Mudlow – Guitar/vocals
Matt Latcham – Drums/Percussion
Paul Pascoe – Bass
Jules Lawrence – Sax/Harmonica (Track 1, 2, 8)
Paul Trimble- Sax (Track 1 3, 11)
George de Santos – Trumpet (Track 1)
Will Plumfitt – Trombone (Track 1)
Mark Jesson – Cello (Track 9)
All Tracks Written by Tobias Mudlow
Recorded & Produced by Paul Pascoe Church Road Studios, Brighton