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Album Review: Chew by Muskets

Muskets released their debut album Chew on 20th October via No Sleep Records. Chew borrows the gritty-ness of Fugazi and mixes it with the energy of early At The Drive In while maintaining a certain sensitivity that’s all its own. Titled after a phrase repeatedly said in Catcher In The Rye, Chew musically documents the highs and lows of a time where bassist Dan Smith and guitarist/vocalist Alex Cheung were living in a squat-like party house coming to terms with the reality of adulthood and pursuing a life in the music industry.

“The word ‘CHEW’ was initially inspired by the book Catcher in the Rye, where Holden Caulfield repeatedly says, ‘Chew the fat’ meaning to shoot the shit or chat bollocks. The debut album is a collection of songs written during various different periods of [our lives], and in turn the songs discuss various highs and lows that [we] have experienced.” Said Cheung. “It was a crucial time in [our] late teens/early 20’s, making sacrifices to proceed with the band whilst trying to scrape enough money for rent. Some of the lyrics discuss these issues and also some of the problems with the transitional period of dealing with adult-life without sufficient guidance. Late nights, narcotics and distress lead to [us] turning to raw sounds and obscure lyrics.”

The grunge-tinged hardcore of Muskets’ sound is enthralling, from opener ‘Pound Drop’ through to closer ‘Umbilical’ the album packs a punch of riotous and bubbling energy. The energy behind each track is what makes Chew such an insatiable listen, it invigorates you grabbing you by the balls and kicking you into life. When the band went to record the album, they had nothing written. Done on the spot and it was tracked live allowing for the tempo to fluctuate and give a sludgy quality to drummer Joe Phillips’ gritty, hard-hitting rhythms. It goes someway to explain how the album captures the bands natural energy and emotion.

You could say lead single ‘You’re So Cool’ would be the ideal starting point for an introduction to the band (and you wouldn’t be wrong) but you might as well just dive head first into Chew. All ten tracks are bangers, each oozes with passion and energy, each one is instantaneous and becomes an immediate favourite. This is the sound Pulled Apart By Horses should have developed into. This might just be the best debut album you hear this year.

AD Rating 8/10

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