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Hypno-rock stalwarts Mugstar are back again this week with yet another album, beautifully presented with a foil-stamped sleeve, swirly black and white vinyl and a hand-numbered insert, and they’re quick off the blocks in opener ‘Technical Knowledge As A Weapon’, settling into a clanking, head-battering riff with the rhythm section blasting out a droning chug while a bright keyboa ...

CD £13.49 IMPREC286CD

CD on Important records.

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LP £12.99 CFUL022

Intergalactic black/ white swirl vinyl LP on Cardinal Fuzz.

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REVIEWS

Sun, Broken... by Mugstar
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 21 March 2014

Hypno-rock stalwarts Mugstar are back again this week with yet another album, beautifully presented with a foil-stamped sleeve, swirly black and white vinyl and a hand-numbered insert, and they’re quick off the blocks in opener ‘Technical Knowledge As A Weapon’, settling into a clanking, head-battering riff with the rhythm section blasting out a droning chug while a bright keyboard cycles around a tense little repetitive melody, then towards the end the intensity builds further still with swooping Hawkwindy synth swooshes and increasingly frantic strumming. Mugstar are very much in ‘rock’ mode this time round.

Similarly the shivering bass and drum groove of ‘Ouroboros’, while taking things down a notch into more cosmic territory, still keep this restless and kinetic feel, even the twitching ambience of ‘Labrador Hatchet’ is surprisingly lively and by the time we hit the ecstatic sunshine kraut grooves of ‘Today Is The Wrong Shape’ I’m feeling quite energised.

Over on side B the pace is slowed with just two lengthy tracks, the first of which is a slowly throbbing psychedelic black hole of synth drones and cymbal swooshes before epic closer ‘Furklausundbo’ which occupies the bulk of the side. This one starts out with cosmic synth darkness too but develops into a bouncy bit of krautrock with slowly morphing synth drones gliding alongside it. They just jam this single two-note riff tirelessly through wild scratchy distortion, strummy acoustic guitar, disorienting phaser madness. This is top notch, as focused and motivated a release as I’ve heard from this band.


10/10 Aquarius Records Customer review, 28th April 2010

It was inevitable really. After a handful of 7"s, and a single mostly overlooked and way under appreciated full length that we raved about way back when, these guys are finally getting their due. This new full length on Important should finally position these guys at the head of the class, in the pantheon of modern spacerockers. White Hills, The Heads, Burnt Hills, Gnod, 3 Leafs, Bardo Pond, Gunslingers, Eternal Tapestry, Heavy Winged, Sleepy Sun, Plastic Crimewave, Titan, we love em all, but they're all gonna have to step up their games, cuz Mugstar has definitely thrown down the drug rock heart of the sun gauntlet. Sun, Broken is a colossal slab of speaker shredding, in-the-red, druggy, psychedelic, hypnotic Hawkwind channeling space rock bliss. Heavy, lush, dense, mesmerizing, sprawling and expansive, epic and majestic, incredible drumming, tangled guitars, warm whirring organs, complex mathy almost proggy arrangements, songs that lock into looped stretches of near static throb and pulse, before splintering into convoluted freakouts only to explode moments later into black hole supernova psychspace blowouts.

"Technical Knowledge As A Weapon" pretty much sets the stage, a swirling cloud of effects gives way to a tribal chunk of primal hypnorock pound, which lurches into a killer stop start Hammond organ stutter, before launching right back into the fray, the track growing ever more urgent and explosive, peppered with organ breaks, the whole thing dense and repetitive, and so so epic. "Ouroboros" starts out all tangled and mathy, a churning hypnotic almost looped sounding sprawl of metallic prog, which slowly transforms into a sort of muted pulsing minimal space rock, swirling effects surround a static guitar melody, and dense drum flurries, and tripped out vox, before the inevitable psych-skree outro, all tangled and jagged fucking FIERCE.

"Labrador Hatchet" is the record's first breather, a two and a half minute space-y trip out, all thum and throb, through a billowing cloud of heavily effected scrapes and clicks and glitches, which gives way to "Today Is The Wrong Shape", a dead ringer for Finnish hypnorockers Circle at their leanest and meanest, the main riff and the pounding krautrock rhythm, like a super charged way revved up Circle, with a cool, angular proggy breakdown, before yet another crushing bout of extreme spaced out damaged FX heaviness.

Another brief bit of swirly psychedelic effects weirdness leads into the nearly 14 minute closer, "Furklausundbo", which begins with warm melodic swells, before the bassline slips in, then the simple stripped down rhythm, and from there it's a totally mesmerizing slow build, locked and looped, riff and rhythm in perfect sync, while all around, streaks of sound swirl and swoop, unlike the other tracks, there's no explosive climax, no freaked out space rock free for all, instead the songs twists and transforms, slipping into a doomy plod at one point, getting downright twangy at another, the main groove getting doused in clouds of reverbed high end guitar at another, but all the while, the pulse, the beat, stays solid, and unfailing, total mind trancelike hypnotic dronerock mesmer, that eventually dissipates in a blurred smear of layered organ and washed out drones. 

Easily the space rock, kraut drone, buzz drug, psych swirl jam of the year! 


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