The insouciant young band Muck Spreader have a new mini-album called Abysmal coming out in July, and having already shared the dramatic opener “Take Flight” they have today shared another track from it called “Would He”. They say:
“We all know a mad dog, don’t we? Left in the kennel, unwanted, taunted. In one way or another the flea-bitten mongrel lives inside all of us. Don’t worry, his bark’s worse than his bite. Honestly just walk on by”
That quote might not make sense in isolation, but listening to “Would He” a whole dramatic scene starts to take shape. The chameleonic Luke Brennan gets to show off his theatrical chops in even starker detail here, as he switches from growling dog to hapless owner, croaking with a cartoon American twang “don’t worry, his bark is worse than his bite, I can testify / he hasn’t bitten that many people… well, at least not recently.” Behind this, Muck Spreader’s utilise brass tones, which splatter and weave around, providing an exaggerated background to this comic tale. Never content to stay in one place, Muck Spreader evolve “Would He” by making the brass backing more regal while anxiety-inducing synths rise like heatwaves, and Brennan shifts into something between a political diatribe and a clinical description of slipping into insanity. “An ice cold fist hitting you right in the solar plexus / took the wind out of you like you’re an accordion,” he enunciates in the middle of this swath of images – it’s a decent description of what listening to “Would He” is like.
With “Would He” already being quite an experience in mere audio form, Muck Spreader up the camp factor even more in the Alice Dellal-directed video, which features a lot of dog masks…