From their searing split single ‘Frank // October’
Elli Chappelhow

13:10 21st May 2019

Just Mustard’s weapon of choice is scalpel-edged intensity; this band masterfully build tension through atmospheric and textured sonics. On ‘October’, Katie Ball’s enchantingly hypnotic vocal cuts through the swirling, screeching tapestry of noise like a hot knife through butter.

If you were to put the mantric pulse of smoky shoegaze into a blender with a dash of trip-hop, a pinch of electronic, and a whole lotta erratic guitar noise, you’ll end up with something resembling the sound of Just Mustard. There’s a brooding storminess about this track: it’s almost like that feeling when dark and heavy clouds enshroud the sky before a thunderstorm.

Ball’s vocal is carefully restrained, keeping the pot just under boiling point - gradually simmering away, ever more intense and fixating. This restraint pulls all this considered chaos into something refined and - somehow - serene. Her voice steps to the forefront with vigour and poise, effortlessly switching from dreamy recitation to a hauntingly restrained sense of delirium; it’s captivating. 

What’s more, they’ve managed the impossible task of translating their live presence onto record: that’s no mean feat. It feels as if Just Mustard are feeling their way through the chaos towards their original sound, and there’s a space opening up right before them. It’s their time. 

We were fixated by Just Mustard’s set at The Great Escape: “The five-piece made beautiful sense of the noise they produced, artfully weaving atmospheric effects with crashing cacophonies, all crowned by detached, longing vocals that evoke the far-off call of film noir band Cults. The tight performance ducked and wove through multiple musical curveballs, cinematic at every turn and so meaningful as to make even the leak in the pub's ceiling seem choreographed.”

They’ve also just announced headline dates in Ireland, support slots with The Twilight Sad (7 June) and The Cure (8 June), and a run of festivals all over Europe which includes Primavera (31 May), Green Man (16 August) and Mirrors (2 November) - with more still to be announced. 

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Photo: Luke Hannaford