Noisy Shoegazers Just Mustard are playing the all-new Band on the Wall this September in support of their dark and dangerous second album, Heart Under.
The Irish band’s first record, Wednesday (2018) took us on a dissonant trip through noise rock, post punk, shoegaze and any number of increasingly paper-thin descriptors that music journos giddily reel off in articles such as this. But it’s probably more helpful to think about Just Mustard’s music in terms of mood – the name of their game, really. Whirring guitars, trip hop beats and Katie Ball’s siren-call vocals conjure an existential kind of yearning, one that can twist your guts in bliss or fear or both, while the quintets softly industrial tones explode in slow motion.
Heart Under (2022) dials up the dread yet further. Ball’s vocals are now pushed further forwards, where they haunt the night skies above David Noonan and Mete Kalyon’s scything guitars and Shane Maguire’s pounding, electronica-influenced drum grooves. Lead single ‘I am You’ makes the band’s wider ambitions clear. It begins in the somnambulant style of the first record, but soon it becomes unmoored from all that. Howling static and ungodly feedback pushes the track by force into something more epic, with Ball ditching shoegaze’s old ‘voice-as-instrument’ thing for full throated, gothic doom. It’s unnerving and captivating.
So too are the Just Mustard’s live shows, by all accounts. “Hypnotic and fierce” say NME, while DIY reckon they “hone the epic of Disintegration-era Cure during the Bloodiest of Valentines”. Band on the Wall, with its sparkly new soundsystem, is a great venue for a band with sonic ambitions as grand as these.