The Mugshots — Something Weird
(Black Widow BWR195, 2016, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-07-10
Italian dark rockers The Mugshots released their latest opus of progressive / punk / doom metal / soundtrack / black metal / new wave / pop music in October 2016, marking their 15th anniversary as a band. In addition to the five band members — Mickey E.Vil (vocals, synths), Erik Stayn (keyboards), EyeVan (bass), Gyorg II (drums), and Priest (guitars) — The Mugshots enlisted an all-star team of guest musicians: Matt Malley (Oscar and Grammy nominated Counting Crows founding member), Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan (Venom Inc., Atomkraft), Mike Browning (Nocturnus AD), Steve Sylvester (Death SS), Freddy Delirio (Death SS, H.A.R.EM.), Martin Grice (Delirium), Manuel Merigo (In.Si.Dia), Ain Soph Aour (Necromass), Andrea Calzoni (Psycho Praxis), and Enrico Ruggeri (Decibel). The first three tracks, “Introitus,” “The Circus,” and “Rain,” segue seamlessly and are basically one long song with gothic, pop-psych, hard rock, and metal influences with an 80s vibe. “I Am an Eye” is pure gothic rock featuring keyboard wizard Freddy Delirio on cathedral organ. “An Embalmer’s Lullaby Part 2” sounds like a Voltaire song title, but is more of a metal rock song with Psycho Praxis’ Andrea Calzoni contributing, with the refrain “Waiting for the cold embrace” standing out. “Ophis” is an excellent instrumental track with an 80s vibe. Enrico Ruggeri contributes some sleazy vocals to the gothic “Sentymento.” Next is the gothic western tune “Scream Again,” with contributions from Steve Silvester, Freddy Delirio, and Ain Soph Aour, reminding me a bit of Fields of Nephilim without the gluttural vocals, The song ends with demonic screaming and a great organ solo. The excellent and trippy psych “Grey Obsession” features Matt Malley, Martin Grice, and Mike Browning. This song has a mid-Eastern vibe and is quite different from the other songs on this album. Another excellent track is “Dusk Patrol” with Tony Dolan, a progressive / gothic hybrid with evil recited lyrics. “Pain” with Manuel Merigo has a neo-Krautrock sound similar to Werner Nadolny’s Jame. And the album closes with the excellent progressive electronic instrumental “Ubique.” So there you have it in a nutshell. An excellent album for those who enjoy a mixing of musical genres.
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