In the past several years, a new wave of intriguing guitar bands have emerged from Ireland — groups that are honing in on a particular kind of rushing-but-brainy punk-inflected rock, or groups that dismantle and implode structures and genres to locate their own unique sound. The Dundalk five-piece Just Mustard belong in the latter category. Their sound — noisy, electronic-indebted, and often playing like a heavy and foreboding iteration of shoegaze — has already won them acclaim in their homeland, where their debut album Wednesday was nominated for a Choice Music Prize last year. It’s easy to imagine Just Mustard garnering more international attention in the near future, too.
On the heels of Wednesday, Just Mustard’s returned this year with a double single. We already heard “Frank,” and today they’re back with its companion, “October.” While “Frank” was a loopy, unnerving track, sounding like images bleeding out of focus, “October” is harsher, and darker. When I saw Just Mustard in Dublin last year, the show had a kind of horrific volume and power to it — onstage, their waves of distorted and mutated guitar began to sound like a bunch of chainsaws tossed around in a hurricane. “October” skews closer to that; while its guitars linger like haunting images creeping up in the back of your mind, you can already picture the band unleashing this song live, letting their instruments take over.
Throughout, vocalist Katie Ball sounds like a ghost, a memory. When those guitars first screech in, it’s as if hearing a person erased in front of you. As the track goes on, she returns, fighting against the static that surrounds her. It’s a quietly intense track, suggesting both the tensions and the eruptions Just Mustard have already proven themselves capable of in their young career. Check it out below.
“Frank” and “October” will be released digitally and as a limited, double A-Side 12″ single. Pre-order it here.