Release Date: 18th March
Record Label: Self-Released
For Fans Of: Tellison, Reuben, Tubelord
Writing “good” pop music is such an intangible thing. One person’s anthem is another’s Chelsea Dagger. Even the best writers release wall to wall classics on one album, then non stop flops on another. It seems to slip through artists’ grip like liquid water; never quite held, but sometimes they’re lucky enough to get their fingers wet.
Muncle’s second album The Possibilities Are Not Endless doesn’t just wish to cradle pop’s precious water in its weary hands, but wants to down it in one desperate gulp. The brainchild of the omni-talented Mike Griffiths, Muncle is like an indie rock Prince with Griffiths playing all instruments, singing every line, taking on the vast majority of the engineering duties and even mixing it himself.
Opener If You’re Waiting For A Signal This Is It is a statement of intent from note one. Subtlety is left at the door, as gentle guitar drone gives way to surprisingly danceable drums. It’s an explosion of a song that manages to meld the unconscious holler of Hundred Reasons and the spectral guitar wall of noisy Post Rock bands like Mogwai. More mid-2000s indie rock worship awaits in the Post Hardcore inflected Waking Up Angry, where the vocal intensity builds until Griffiths is left shredding his voice box; Something not often captured in the vast majority of perfectionism laden records of today’s musical landscape. Single Cream & Jam contains some of the album’s most off the wall ricochets between Blakfish-esque guitar chaos and tongue in cheek falsetto musings about “bouncing on a bungee”. The breakdown sections nailing the balance of catchy as hell and breaking-plates-on-your-face heavy, without ever sounding forced or trite.
The Possibilities Are Not Endless’ standout track comes with a small moment of respite. Breakfast For Tea’s first half is beautiful and full of the kind of lackadaisical Pavement-isms that bands tend to base their entire sound on. However, Griffiths isn’t nearly satisfied with this easy way out. Instead he teases early on with a chorus that hints at greatness, before resurrecting it with a building toppling degree of bombast. A song so perfectly crafted it would make Rivers Cuomo finally stop releasing terrible records….just out of sheer embarrassment.
This album is something to behold. Not only does it manage to meld disparate indie rock sub genres completely seamlessly, but more importantly the songs are gigantic. A monument to Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus and a solid gold outcrop on the ever growing mountain of pop.