Muuy Biien have already established a reputation as being one of the hardest working bands in the business despite only arriving on the scene four years ago. In that time, the Athens, Georgia-based band have released two LPs and 3 EPs, commencing with the raucous, hardcore punk-infused Knife Fights EP and This Is What Your Mind Imagines. But as frontman and project mastermind Joshua Evans told Vice in 2012, Muuy Biien wasn’t a punk band but rather five “punks that can play”. Their transformation from a full-assault, hardcore band to a droning, psychedelic-punk outfit, as such, should not be a surprise. The seeds of change were planted on 2014’s D.I.Y. and now streamlined on their new album, Age of Uncertainty.
While Muuy Biien may no longer be wearing the hardcore punk mantra, they have not completely removed themselves from the genre. Like the albums by Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys, Age of Uncertainty possesses a double meaning – one that looks introspectively and another that offers a critique of the world. The opener “Moral Compass” is tinged with a glam-rock vibe as Evans sings about people who ignore facts in favor of moral arguments. The eerie, film noir-esque “Robbed” possesses some terrific layers of guitar and strings, perfectly reflecting the message of lost (or even stolen) identity. Like the sound of the ticking second hand, “Clocks” paces through distortion and false starts to replicate society’s overzealous nature to report whatever they see. Similarly methodical is “Bitter Blessings”, that has a touch of The Growlers in its sound and its message that sees to focus on anxiety.
Muuy Biien do change things up. On “Mara”, there is a hint of late-’60s, early-’70s Rolling Stones. Akin to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, Evans follows the events of a woman and her rise and fall. The blistering “Sike Song” is a gem. The guitars are fierce and at their most intense, filling the air with a sense of chaos and delirium. The Twilight Zone-esque mood complements Evans’ story about how so much has changed yet everything remains the same. On the whirlwind, “In The Pits”, the feeling of life spinning uncontrollably in circles emanates from the neo-psychedelic blasts. The music provides the atmosphere for a world where one’s obsession becomes all encompassing. These three songs, however, could easily represent the band’s growth and their own trials and tribulations of the past five years.
But the one song that best reflects the band’s growth and their observations of self and others is “Skeletal Tissue”. At a brisk 1 minutes, 56 seconds, Evans voice is filtered through a megaphone to give it a distant feel. “It is the respect for reality”, he calls out sarcastically, as he takes on the establishment and its suppressing of individuality and creativity. The restrained arrangements highlighted by the tickling of the piano keys give the song a Hitchcock vibe, as what lies behind the curtain is not what you think it is.
Just like Muuy Biien. Despite the quintet all still being under 25 years old, they are rapidly evolving and not succumbing to labels. The darker more methodical approach could very well just be a short stop towards something more permanent. In the meantime, enjoy watching this band grow and pay attention to what they have to say. Muuy Biien are not your ordinary band. they are a bunch of punks who not only can play but also can challenge our perceptions of reality, of the world, and of ourselves.
Muuy Biien are Joshua Evans, Xander Witt, Robbie Rapp, Jacob Lake, and Parks Miller. They have just commenced a tour. See dates below.
Muuy Biien Tour Dates
11/02 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre (album release show)
11/03 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn (album release show)
11/30 – Jackson, MS – Martin’s
12/01 – Houston, TX – The Nightingale Room
12/02 – San Antonio, TX – The Mix
12/03 – Austin, TX – The Sidewinder
12/04 – Fort Worth, TX – Lola’s
12/06 – Tucson, AZ – The Flycatcher
12/07 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
12/08 – Los Angeles, CA – Satellite
12/09 – San Francisco, CA – Hemlock Tavern
12/11 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar
12/12 – Seattle, WA – The Vera Project
12/13 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
12/15 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake Lounge
12/17 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird
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