I definitely feel excited about this record, especially when one half of the Mudsuckers’ quartet is made up of the Yellow Swans guys. I’m yet to hear a bad Yellow Swans release and their brutal psychedelia is stamped all over this. But it’s unfair to trivialise Mudsuckers that way. I’m not hugely familiar with Tom Carter and Robert Horton, who form the other half of this project, but their presence adds gentle drones, brass instruments and hollowed out tribal rhythms to the mix. Feedback, digital smear and general ambience also prevail.
Combined, these elements are allowed plenty of room to breathe. Individual sounds often go un-manipulated; the boys each pick a path and run with it, making subtle adjustments and delighting in the picture that emerges. On Here Come the Mudsuckers stale feedback and awry radio signals weave around a gentle drone and a distant rhythm; there’s little variation during its nine minutes and yet any subtle shifts that do take place feel seismic within the whole, and when feedback takes over in the track’s dying moment another dimension opens.
Mudsuckers has a very organic feel about it; nothing sounds obviously digital. It represents four guys in a room wrenching whatever sound they can from their chosen ‘instruments’. It has a live feel, almost like a band, albeit a fucked up one. This vibe comes to light in the closing number Sweet which kicks off with a thick atonal hum made up of feedback and reed instruments, and ends 16 minutes later with a crackling 12 bar boogie-woogie piano and a droning harmonica. The spirit of the blues and its improvisatory nature is present throughout Mudsuckers – this is a band making noise rather than a bunch of ‘artists’ making noise. There’s something very refreshing in that.