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Broken Record #43

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Liverpudlian psych-experimentalists Mugstar have just released their superb new album Magnetic Seasons on Rock Action records. It's a mammoth LP with plenty of sprawling, trippy pieces which will make you want to dig a little deeper into their own expansive catalogue. The four piece are heading out on a tour of Europe in April, but before they set off, drummer Steve Ashton spoke to us about Metal, the psych scene and driving kraut-rock in the latest in our Broken Record series.

Neu! - Neu!

I guess if we’re talking motors, the motorik beat of Neu! is perfect. The repetitive drive of Klaus Dinger and the gliding beautiful sounds of Michael Rother… great stuff. Actually, I have a “mix-tape” CD compilation of my own in the van, - taken from Neu!, Neu!2 and Neu!’75. But if I had to pick one, it’d be the 1st album.

Thee Oh Sees – Putrifiers II

Austin Psych Fest, last year. We were lucky enough to be asked to play. It was probably the hottest stage we've ever played on, just baking, humid heat. It was a great show though! Superb festival with an amazing line-up. Thee Oh Sees were one of the highlights for me.

Earthless – Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky

Everyone seems to be asking us why “Psych” is so popular at the moment and just what is “Psych”? It’s a difficult one, I wouldn't have thought of Mugstar as Psychedelic originally and Psych covers such a broad spectrum of bands now. Seems very healthy though. Most Psych festivals – and there are quite a few now – have line-ups that go from glitchy electronica, through jangly pop to full-on heavy bands. Mugstar have played alongside some amazing bands in recent years such as Oneida, Endless Boogie, White Manna and Carlton Melton. Recently I've been listening to a lot of Earthless.

Hawkwind – Space Ritual

Mugstar have many and varied influences, but if there is one album that connects with all four members in terms of influence, I’d probably have to say it’s this one. With Sonic Youth – Evol, Sister, Daydream Nation era – coming a close second. Space Ritual is just a colossus. Lemmy driving with Dave Brock and Simon King. Amazing fluid energy, great sounds and improvisations as the whole thing shifts from beginning to end.

Ganger – Hammock Style

Ganger were a great band coming out of Glasgow. Two bass players! They were on Domino records and released only three albums. I saw them play in Liverpool around the very early days of Mugstar coming together and they were tremendous that night. Often compared sound-wise to Slint and Tortoise. Definitely worth digging out.

Judas Priest – Sad Wings of Destiny

Because it would be a Black Sabbath album, right? Although within Mugstar we wouldn’t be able to agree on which one. Neil states that the first album not only lays down the blueprint, but actually has it all and was never bettered. I guess many people agree Paranoid to be the best. But Pete’s really into Master of Reality, we all like Volume 4 – can’t pinpoint why though - great riffs, great songs - but it is one of those albums that seems to carry a certain feeling or atmosphere throughout. Jason and myself might settle on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but equally I might go for Sabotage. Ok, after that the albums start to dip a little, but those first six Sabbath albums… superb.