Just Mustard might be a new band to some people but they haven’t exactly appeared from out of nowhere. Those more eagle-eyed amongst you would have seen Just Mustard mentioned in GoldenPlec’s Lowdown on Dundalk’s Music Scene at the tail end of 2015. They had just released their debut single Lemon Smiles, which was bright and breezy albeit a bit lightweight in term of depth. Just Mustard can no longer be accused of that anymore with their self-titled EP.
‘Just Mustard’ wastes little time in setting out what to expect. Lead single Greedy Ape is a strong calling card that sets a high benchmark. The low rumbling riff that heralds Greedy Ape in is the bedrock upon which the song is built. It eventually layers up on guitars that are fuzzier than Donald Trump’s campaign policies.
Gingham Skin reverberates and shimmers before settling into the dreamlike verses before erupting into a cacophony of guitar. Ice Cream’s fragility is interjected with skin-crawling wails of guitar. It’s a song that lulls you into a false sense of security, with gentle dreamlike vocals providing a sense of warmth before giving way to piercing salvos of guitar.
Under Blue is as if Mazzy Star’s weird cousin just found out that the volume goes up to eleven. ‘Just Mustard’ isn’t all hazy drifting blissfulness though. Pictures, is the yin to that yang, with a tortured baseline and distant vocals that feel like they are trying to escape a terrible torment.
Shoegaze might be some people’s marmite, but if it’s your thing Just Mustard’s debut EP will be one to lather yourself in for a long time. One of the other promising Irish showgaze/dream pop bands on the circuit Elastic Sleep are sadly going on a temporary hiatus. However, Just Mustard are not simply stepping into the sizeable breach of said Cork band, they are staking their own unique claim to be noticed.