A few weeks back, I put up an On the Radar post about Chicago-based heavy prog trio Guzzlemug, whose dedication to and affection for the sonically weird was writ large all over their Nervously Counting Rosary Beads EP. This weekend, they’ll release through Speaks Volumes Records and their own Bad Human Records the follow-up to that single-song outing, a four-track EP of roughly the same length called To Leave the Earth, and I’m fortunate enough to have been granted permission to host the tracks for streaming prior to the release.
I’ve been listening to the songs for the last few days, just trying to kind of get my head around the material, and it’s no easy task. Guzzlemug are a challenging listen, the music apologetically complex melodically and rhythmically. To Leave the Earth was recorded in Brooklyn in 2010 — before the EP it follows — so the breadth isn’t even as expansive as it’s become in the time since, but still, they touch on the same kind of dark, organ-infused progressive lurch that made Ancestors‘ In Dreams and Time such a joy earlier this year (while also predating it) on the 17-minute focal point track “Dust on My Tongue,” and their scope is no less encompassing here than it has become since.
I wouldn’t call the songs accessible in the sense of reaching out and making party favors out of catchy hooks, but neither are they coldly delivered. Guzzlemug are going on this trip whether you’re coming or not, but bassist/vocalist Tom Kelly, guitarist/vocalist Shane Prendiville and drummer Charlie Werber make a strong case for joining them and don’t dissuade engagement, whether it’s the soothing grunge-gone-experimental melodicism of interlude “The Calm,” the storm that follows in the chaotic churn of “Io,” the bass-led intro “Flight” or the mounting tension in “Dust on My Tongue. ”
They’ll have To Leave the Earth available to buy on the Guzzlemug Bandcamp starting this Saturday, but for an early glimpse, please find it on the player below followed by release info sent over by the band, and please enjoy:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Guzzlemug’s To Leave The Earth EP:
02. Dust On My Tongue
03. The Calm
Guzzlemug is: Tom Kelly (bass, vocals), Shane Prendiville (guitar, vocals), Charlie Werber (drums, percussion)
Additional vocals on The Calm by Wes Jones. Additional vocals on Io by Sacha Mullin and Sasha Clara Gibbs.
Recorded in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY in the Summer of 2010 at 1984 Studios.
This was recorded before Nervously Counting Rosary Beads.
Engineer: Wes Jones
Assistant Engineer: Mathew Sherman
Mixed and Mastered in the Summer of 2012 by Adam Tucker of Signaturetone Recording in Minneapolis, MN.
Released on Guzzlemug’s own Bad Human Records and Howie Voigt’s Speaks Volumes Records.
Front cover art by Jaroslaw Miklasiewicz
Back cover by Gina Kelly of Weathermaker Press
Layout/design by Tom Kelly.
Available starting Saturday November 17th through us directly at guzzlemugfalcon [at] gmail [dot] com or through bandcamp: http://guzzlemug.bandcamp.com. Orders will ship out by the end of the week.