June 19, 2008

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Mugison, Mugiboogie
Ipecac Recordings, June 24
Like they always say, if you want to gold-plate a joke band, make sure that the star of the show is from some perpetually dark postage stamp of a European country where people eat nothing but penguin heads and narwhal blubber.

But back up a sec, because upon first encountering this thing I didn’t realize at all that it’s a one-man guitar/laptop/singing operation from Iceland — for all I knew it was a foursome of American blues-alt hopheads with Kings of Leon posters in their practice space. Mugison can play serious roles, you see, and the Muddy Waters worship is thick, fast and not inaccurate on the title track and “The Pathetic Anthem.” Those two tracks, though appropriately swampy, have nothing on vocal-chord-shredder “Jesus is a Good Name to Moan,” wherein our intrepid zero adopts the persona of a pure-grain blind drunk howling to the heavens or the cops about how much he fancies some chick. Elsewhere he tries his grease-stained hand at psychedelica (“George Harrison”), a Rage Against the Machine door-kick-down (“Two Thumb Sucking Son of a Boyo”) and a razzing of the vomit-voiced metal Carcass is non-famous for (“I’m Alright”). B+Eric W. Saeger