Review of Us Album by Mull Historical Society

Mull Historical Society

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Mull Historical Society - Us - (Blanco Y Negro)
If 2003 is the New Rock Revolution's year zero, then purveyors of indie twee such as the Mull's should, in theory, run screaming back to the Hebredian extremities from whence they came. In theory! Because in the same way their spiritual cousins from south of the border, Clearlake, are breathing life into jangly guitar pop, 'Us' is here to rock our world, albeit very gently.

New single, 'The Final Arrears' sets the revivalist ball rolling. If the Beach Boys and their happy clappy descendants the Polyphonic Spree were to collaborate, enlisting the help of the band accountant on lyrical duties, then it would probably sound something like this. The outro consists of a recording of the shipping forecast. Good to see that perversity is still alive, well, and residing in bonny Scotland.

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At times, 'Us' is a highly emotive record. A soundtrack to ordinary lives with their little dramas and little victories. The frankly fantastic 'Am I Wrong', with its killer hook and glory chorus is a martial anthem for all library card holders and Horlicks drinkers ("Trying to fight again/I'm getting it right again". If he were to look round, he would see us in his corner).

Clocking in at around an hour, things do merge towards the middle. Disappointing, because at times 'Us' truly takes flight. 'Asylum' and 'Don't Take Your Love Away From Me', for example, are songs so immediate that their complex, meticulously and seamlessly crafted structures remain unnoticed. It all seems so very simple. And when Macintyre sings on the latter, "you helped me to notice the world outside of me", even the hardest core garage rocker/hedonist/pseudo-nihilist will find himself getting a little lachrymose.

'Us', songs about love, to fall in love with.

Alistair Hann