mon 22/07/2024

CD: Miraculous Mule - Two Tonne Testimony | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Miraculous Mule - Two Tonne Testimony

CD: Miraculous Mule - Two Tonne Testimony

Passionate, paranoid heavy rock built for these times

What's that coming over the hilll, is it a riff monster?

Miraculous Mule summon up that great feeling when you walk into an anonymous festival marquee and are caught up in a storm of music by someone you’ve never heard of. Two Tonne Testimony has a looseness, where songs matter less than hefty grooves, a feeling that its stew of swamp rock, psychedelia and grungey biker riffs is merely the jumping-off point for a wild live show.

It’s also punctuated by a very contemporary paranoia that time is running out.

Miraculous Mule is a three-piece fronted by Michael J Sheehy, alongside his brother and a childhood friend. Born of north London's council estates, Sheehy was signed to Beggars Banquet for years, with his 1990s band Dream City Film Club, and then solo, but never achieved success. Two Tonne Testimony is the third album from his latest incarnation and it burns with purpose, perhaps because Sheehy lost many years to a haze of boozing.

Like MC5, whom they occasionally recall, Miraculous Mule have a socio-political fury, which roars to the surface on songs such as ”They Cut, We Bleed”, a Seventies-style headbanger whose title sums it up. “Sound of the Summer”, meanwhile, suffers from terrible couplets such as “It’s the sound of a different beat / It’s the sound of people in the street”, but also musters a passionate feeling of change denied. “The Fear” is, sadly, not a rock cover of Lily Allen’s classic but an organ fuelled, gospel-tinted rampage for desperate times, and “Where Monsters Lead” makes mention of leaders “wrapping that bullshit up in red, white and blue”. By the time the band reach “We Know About Cha” the amphetamine comedown terror is peaking, all packaged in an increasingly frantic Motörhead-like attack, before concluding with a reprise of the slow, considered alcoholic escape of “Blues Uzi”, the title track of their last album.

Miraculous Mule aren’t fresh kids on the block, about to crack the charts, they’re grizzled old dogs who’ve seen too much, and the album lays out their hectic wares. But, like The Jim Jones Revue before them, if you catch them live and they’ll likely tear your head off.

Watch the video for "Sound of the Summer"


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