Leeds-based art-rock trio, Mush, release their feverish second LP, Lines Redacted via Memphis Industries. The new release, which finds the group recruiting Lee Smith (The Cribs, Pulled Apart By Horses) on mixing duties, arrives just under a year after their debut LP, 3D Routine, capping off what has been an obviously tumultuous, but remarkably prolific year for the band. With any prospect of live shows decimated, the group, led by songwriter, Dan Hyndman, has found the time to release two EPs (Great Artisanal Formats and Yellow Sticker Hour) and now a duo of full-length albums.
Mush resent their own sonic idiosyncrasy. It’s a sound that blurs the lines of abstract surrealism, existentialism and social commentary; utilising guitars as tools in 2020 to stave off malaise whilst simultaneously commenting on the nation’s ability to fall into such dire straits. It’s a sensory overload of wiry tones that zig- zag between punk, prog and sardonic-funk with a relentless ability to reflect society’s faults and apathy in a unique and acerbic manner.
Whereas the band’s debut was very much a product of its time, something part-inspired by the political atmosphere of mid-2019 and a genuine moment of optimism when the prospect of a socialist government in the UK was on the cards, this new record uses tongue-in-cheek cynicism as a coping mechanism for the environment that we now find ourselves in. From one song to the next, Lines Redacted introduces a string of different narrators with each providing a different reflection on the Armageddon scenario that we are slowly entering, whether that’s bemoaning it or gleefully willing it along. 3D Routine presented a bed of scathing political jibes latching onto themes and decisions of the time. Lines Redacted mutates these ideas into something slightly more sinister whilst maintaining all of Hyndman’s razor-sharp wit that permeates the album.