Mush’s newest album ‘Lines Redacted’ offers everything you’d expect from its genre
By Jonathan Pabico, Senior Columnist
The band is no stranger to employing their music to discuss the moral failings of politics and British society.
If there’s one thing that British post-punk band Mush proves with their recently released album Lines Redacted, it’s this—they have a lot of things to say about the environment, pandemic anxieties, and Donald Trump. Historically, the band is no stranger to employing their music to discuss the moral failings of politics and British society. Mush entertains fans nonetheless with their punk humour and fresh music for 2021.
What’s enjoyable about the album is that the band is bitingly unapologetic with their political satire. Their first track “Drink the Bleach”—an obvious allusion to Trump’s absurd metaphorical claim of injecting bleach as a cure for COVID-19—uses drowsy drum beats and distorted guitar riffs paired with weird drawls and slurs from the vocals. These arrangements poke fun at Trump and convey how hilarious this event was during his presidency.
Even the titular song “Lines Redacted” mocks Trump’s release of redacted documents about the Russian probe. The track uses groovy guitar riffs and easygoing drum set tempos with pseudo-drunken vocals for lyrics like “Lines and lines of blacked-out print / Confusing last testimony.” The soundscape conveys how ridiculously strange political realities can easily be for those in power.
However, Mush doesn’t stop with politics as they also talk about other social themes. A personal favorite, “B2BCDA” discusses the looming concerns for pollution and the environment. It further illustrates how crucial it is to open conversations about this subject through the track’s speedy and upbeat instrument compositions.
Moreover, the album explores the weird normalcies of the current pandemic with songs like “Hazmat Suits.” The guitar’s startling energy and the bouncy drum hits foreground lyrics like “Everyone’s shopping in their brand-new hazmat suits / Stop all the entertainment.” This synergy relays how face masks and other COVID-19 protocols continue making daily life an odd existence.
Lines Redacted even includes psychedelic songs. The track “Bots!” for instance, evokes our fears and anxieties about technology, cybercrimes, and misinformation. The slurred vocals are elevated by lingering, and sometimes off-kilter guitar melodies. They reflect how threatened we can be by our digital world’s unbridled dangers.
As for flaws, the album could’ve been more relatable if it had a few post-punk songs about friends, family, love, hope, and so forth. Doing so would have provided an optimism that’s much needed for listeners right now. The album could’ve pushed its light-hearted tone with not only humour but also more positive subjects.
Part satire, part punk rock, Lines Redacted is marvelously punchy yet socially relevant. Mush shows once again that they’re a band that enjoys being funny towards our absurd world. They truly push the avant-garde envelope with weird political music about today’s turbulent times. Lines Redacted’s oddball beats and laughable comedy earn the album a place in your top ten playlist.