MUMM-RA – Black Hurts Day And The Night Rolls On (Sony BMG)
Hailing from the not-very-indie-at-all Bexhill-On-Sea, Mumm-Ra (named after a Thundercats baddie) have been around for a couple of years playing their weird mixture of eccentric British pop and 20 minute Krautrock jams. When their sitar player left (!) at the beginning of the year they tightened their sound and set about recording the four songs that make up this, their debut EP. They are surprisingly accessible, and lead track ‘Song B’ is a good introduction to the band, even if it does sound like about three separate songs welded together. It has fast bits and slow bits, and a bit that sounds like early Pink Floyd, and a trumpet in there somewhere, but stick them all in one song and the result is surprisingly enjoyable. ‘There She Is’ is a more conventional song, taken at a slower pace and with a verse/chorus structure, and shows that the band do not do ‘weird’ all the time. ‘Light Up This Room’ is a gentle acoustic ballad, just guitar and vocal, and despite not being anything like what I expected from the band it is nevertheless a lovely little song. ‘The Temple’ is the final track of the EP, and for this one they pull out all the stops and give me exactly what I expected – it starts off slowly, introduces a melodic verse and chorus, and then just when you think it will fade out in comes a quirky guitar solo, some heavy rock chords, and finally a jazz trumpet solo over spacey guitars. Once again it sounds as though they have written three or four different songs and hammered them into one another – and it really works. If their forthcoming album is only half as good as this EP then it will be a corker, and Mumm-Ra is a band that could be the next big thing. Hunt out the 10” vinyl version in wraparound sleeve, and remember, you heard it here first.