Thursday, May 1, 2014
REVIEW: Muuy Biien - D.Y.I.
Athens punks Muuy Biien are back - following up on last year's This Is What Your Mind Imagines (WYMA review here) with an even better, more fully-realized album. D.Y.I. has the bouncing rhythms, slashing guitars and guttural vocals that made their first album so memorable, but the ambient interludes (this time entitled "Cyclothymia" I, II and III) are better, and the music overall is even stronger. "Crispin Noir" in particular is an amazing track, just under 3:00 of constantly changing guitar sounds and a rhythm section that dares you to sit still while listening.
Here is album track "She Bursts". It's a good selection as the "single" or advance track, as it contains the irresistible bass line, slashing guitars that drive most of Muuy Biien's best songs:
Plus, it's 3:24, long enough to pound you into submission without feeling like they've stretched the slightest bit outside their comfort (or discomfort) zone - and to allow for a bit of the ambient stuff at the end, leading into the second "Cyclothymia" interlude.
By the way, the title stands for "Do yourself in" - a statement, taken in concert with track titles like "Human Error", "White Ego" and "Virus Evolves", that lends itself to the conclusion that we humans are often our own worst enemy. Josh Evans doesn't spare himself from the rage that this album throws off...you get the sense that when he's screaming "be a man/do yourself in" he's not talking to anybody else, but rather he's sort of trying to see how far he can push himself and still retain some hope. Of course artists frequently explore unpleasant topics in order to generate emotional reactions, but Evans is really pushing it here... and the results sure grab your attention.
Whatever the genesis of its up-front, powerful emotions - crappy jobs, grueling travel, relationship problems - this is just a hell of an album. In 1977 it would have been a hell of an album, but especially today, with so many punk pose-strikers, Muuy Biien's D.Y.I. stands out as the real thing. The album is out this week (Apr. 29) in the US, later in May in the UK on HHBTM Records.
Muuy Biien at HHBTM Records