Mudflap – S/T

Mudflap
S/T

Ok, these guys have a certain amount of talent. First, both singers (one male and one female) actually have decent voices, something that seems to be quite a rarity these days. Also, the band plays well together. Everyone sounds comfortable with his or her instrument, and there are no truly horrible moments.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many of note either. Opener “North of Penge” is the kind of song that you nod your head to, but you don’t remember the minute it ends. The guitars are sterile and unremarkable. The use of harmonics on “Sludge” adds a bit of spice, but not enough to overcome the bland use of standard rock chords. However, Mudflap must realize this, because they frequently include outside instrumentation (horns, violin) as texture. Sadly, these layers appear for only a few bars each time and then dissolve away never to be heard again. The rhythm section keeps the band steady but never stands up and demands attention. The bass is buried in the mix, stopping songs like “Lee Harvey” from picking up the speed they need.

That said, the surf rock roots of “Sweat Shop” provide an interesting change of pace. It’s just too bad that Mudflap doesn’t branch out like this more often. As for the lyrics, never trust a band that takes exact lines from the Beatles.

In the end, this CD is disappointing. However, it’s not a lost cause. While the songwriting certainly needs some work, certain tracks suggest that Mudflap might have a better future on the horizon. Hopefully the band will utilize Mrs. Janeen Martin’s powerful voice and tinker a bit more with their songs’ formats. The building blocks are there; they simply require assembly.