Recorded at The Windsor Shed, April 2011.
Artwork by Michael Jones.
May 20 2011 by Ian Hughes, DPW West
MOWBIRD’S last proper release was a real punch to the gut. A tight, melodic one at that. So, where Excellent, OK was brash and full throttle you expect the Wrexham band’s latest offering to be a progression of sorts. Ilk EP is a progression. First track of four, Lady Lion, is no less immediate than its predecessors but there is a slow burning heart to it.
Overdriven guitar beneath a nicely off kilter melody represents a more conventional approach at first yet does not deviate too far from what makes Mowbird such an exciting band. Normal service is resumed on Carousel and Handmedown. The former barely breaks into its second minute before hitting a brick wall and abruptly ending like all the best songs should. Words like ‘rad’ come to mind – this is wonderfully bratty stuff. Surf punk of a high order.
In an admittedly brief experience of seeing Mowbird as a live entity, they sway precariously on the tightrope between shambolic and glorious. On record and on stage they manage to be perpetually charming and, above all, fun. Like Wavves, if they spent less time on the beach looking aloof and took their musical sensibilities from the likes of Fugazi and Grandaddy instead.
Ilk’s pop grows slowly (at least slower than previous releases) but it is a rewarding listen. A reworked Holy Moly Me Oh My lets the side down a little but it is only a slight blemish. Lo Fi has and always will have its critics, there’s no escaping that. Admittedly, it can be a poor excuse to hide weak songs behind even weaker production. That is not the case here. This is pretty trashy. Raucous and ramshackle. Above everything, this is real fun. It’s only £1 as well. Even better.