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Mugwump send us twirling with some psychedelic weirdness

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“Mugwumps are an alien race that excrete class A drugs from phalluses on their forehead,” said Tam. Let me clarify something, things only get murkier from here. I had assumed – safely I thought – the band name was based on the definition of a “politically un-enslaved man who favours no party over another.” This would have worked as their sound is similarly free from rigidity. But no, alien creatures it is (which also works), and I can neither confirm nor deny the band members themselves are human.

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Mugwump create sounds that are, perhaps quite literally, out of this world.

Freshly landed on the scene, Mugwump base themselves in Perth and were formed under strange circumstances as each person thought another was forming a band, and confusion ruled the day. Apparently they sorted it out because here they are with their debut track Lazy Bones, a rocking kaleidoscopic mind trap if ever there was one.

Tam, Jake, Rhys, Sam, and Stan form this entity, although one of them is constantly being reminded he isn’t actually in the band. To give you a better (or more confused) understanding of them, they list some influences on their sound as “deranged visions, inter-planetary communication and people with jobs.” They are also very enthusiastic about other Perth bands who are taking off, such as the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.

To the boring, conventional slug that most people are these days, this might all sound very weird, but you’ll be pleased to know away from music they also enjoy happy meals and happy hour – pretty normal stuff, they might just be human after-all (I was getting worried I was part of a real invasion). Tam also said he was made happy by; “happy deals, happy wife, happy life, no trace, happy endings, don’t ask questions. Under the table, scratch my back I scratch yours, part time sexy, full time cute, my water gun collection, discount vouchers, gift cards”… Let’s move on.

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Lazy Bones has energy right off the bat, which seems effortless, with a comfortably stable percussion beat. However the shimmering, wavering twangs of the guitar line have you turning the lights off and treating your room like a magical forest, or a black and white striped maze. The sounds come together to have you bopping back and forth involuntarily. Then the vocals come in and they sound suspiciously reptilian and green, not at all like that of a man, but before you can raise the alarm they convince you otherwise. The offer of companionship with these interesting beings is too much to resist and so the voice suddenly becomes a warm comfort rather than a cold salad whom you don’t make friends with.

Just as you start to wonder where it was all heading it suddenly slows down for a total bliss out. Everything languidly starts moving in slow motion as they leave all lyrics well and truly behind. Just as we relax in this soft, soupy break the song takes off, faster and more frantic than before. It’s been a terrific five minutes of our life but all of the sudden someone turns the lights back on, the track is over and the spell is broken. It’s a psychedelic success because it holds you in a vice grip for it’s entire duration where the back half of the track only improves on the front, which is pretty damn irresistible.

Tam describes the band perfectly as: “An earwig. Living in your ear, loving life, bit of a pest, kinda cute, learn to deal with it. You know you should probably see a doctor about it but you’re in denial about your human-pet relationship with it until you become one and live in symbiotic harmony.” Quaint, right?

Mugwump have an EP in the works right now, as well as an album in the future before they plan to cash in on retirement and live in a skip bin. I’ll be surprised if they don’t share a stage with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard one day, or take over the world with their phallus covered foreheads. Until then, enjoy.

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May 12, 2015

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