MUSK was an idea long before it was a real band. Ringleader Chris Owen and punker scribe Mitch Cardwell had the notion of starting an Aberrant records-style band - hairy knuckled Oz punk with very few chord changes - called MUSK. They did not take, however, into consideration Mitch’s lack of musical ability (not even the good kind of lack of musical ability). A few years later in 2011, Chris ran into Rob Fletcher at the Bottom Of The Hill for feedtime’s first US show. They lamented the total lack of any malevolent garage punk in the Bay Area. Rob brought his ex-bandmate John and this guy Brendan from his Cramps cover band aboard for upcoming rehearsals. Other names considered during these early practices were Merle Dirt and well, something we’d prefer not turn up in every review of this album. Despite learning no less than four other bands were currently operating under the MUSK moniker, it was decided to use it anyways (the label head thought about doing a Google search for “Merle Dirt” but it’s a work laptop).
The Aberrant punk idea gave way to more of a Beasts Of Bourbon/Panther Burns concept after their first year or so together prior to Musk recording a widely hailed debut LP with Chris Woodhouse in two days (see below), but ’Second Skumming’ was completed in a decadent four (suck on that, Pink Floyd). You could say they’ve grown or matured, but YOU’D BE MISTAKEN. Like all great sequels (“The Godfather II”, “Bring It On : All Or Nothing”, “Eddie & The Cruisers II : Eddie Lives”) MUSK 2 amplifies and expands on themes that made ‘Musk’ a favorite amongst misanthrobes & collector skum alike (or is that an oxymoron?) and does so with laser-like focus.
Chris was asked to supply sticker copy for the record and he came up with, “we do poorly with attractive people and people who prefer early period Scientists to late period Scientists.” Sadly, we were looking for something shorter and more to the point.
prior praise for 2014’s ‘Musk’ (Holy Mountain) :
"MUSK is an anomaly. Its knuckle dragging, saturated dirges are the uncalculated, pure expression of spite and frustration. Go ahead, think mid-70s Ohio filtered through Australia a few years later...Formed with an unabashed allegiance to agitation, both of their own and listeners, MUSK is antithetical to its Bay Area contemporaries” - Sam Lefebvre, Degenerate
"...a Scientists-infused dip into the swamp...the only band even close to the scree they unleash is 'Sicko Inside Me' era Necessary Evils mixed with a bit of the first Horrors LP and dare I even say some of the nastier Hunches efforts. Absolutely ferocious guitar sound that's going to have some people jealous. “ - -Rich Kroneiss, Terminal Boredom
"beefy, sludgy blues rock that's so vicious and heavy, it makes Lazaretto and Turn Blue seem outright feeble.” - Evan Minsker, Pitchfork
"essentially music that Satan would listen to if he were chilling in a garage in Oakland, drinking a PBR, and wearing a pair of stained vans. Think about someone you want to punch in the face and listen to this immediately.” - Kayla Monetta, Noisey
"Guitar tone sticks like melted Haribo on the cracked vinyl upholstery of a hot, dead car; vocals come off like backseat resident John Brannon trying to shovel the whole bag in his mouth for a gargle in the dusty air. Riffs galore are spewed out, and the whole thing gets weirder and more dire/desperate on side 2. Ugly right down to the cover art, which makes me wanna puke. I think we have a winner here." - Doug Mosurock, Still Single
"A psychotronic splatter of deadly fuzz-squalor and murderous intention. Everything blooms into a cloud of feedback and noise, leaving behind filth reminiscent of the Australian godfathers of this swamp-cum-alley rat sound." - Erick Bradshaw, Mute Tremors
"INSANE fuzz/scree guitar and Yow-squeal vocals that ain't ezzackly the typical 'maturing men playin' kinder, gentler ROCK BOREDOM' - NOR the psych-folk tweedlings o' gentrified San Francisco. MUSK is Dark. Darker than a displaced-by-GoogleGlasshole Tenderloin alcoholic's skid-marked drawers. Darker than an encounter with a Clearlake meth head's next score tactics ...DO NOT Go Gently Into The Night." - Tim Warren, Crypt Records
(first 100 on gold vinyl)
(includes download code)