Muck Spreader are bright and brilliant on nu-jazz cut ‘Carnal Tongues’.

The South East London outfit groove through the gears on latest effect.


Muck Spreader’s bright and brilliant nu-jazz sound on Carnal Tongues will be instantly recognisable to those familiar with the style. Brassy melodies mix with reverbed guitar, as the music steadily rises to a fervent peak. It almost gets too much before dissipating into sardonic nothingness, as singer Luke Brennan repeatedly asserts “How lucky are we to be alive” after several minutes of dark reflection on the nature of the world.

The band’s busy soundscape backs Brennan’s lyrical madness. Oscillating between straight-up spoken word and lethargic moaning, his style is reminiscent of fellow fatalistic mumbler Ghostpoet. As the tension increases, so does his delivery, to a point where Carnal Tongues becomes more of a humorous narrated rant. The message is clear – The world is fucked, so much so that all you can do is laugh.

As the absurdity unfurls and splays outwards across the soundscape, this messy jazz piece comes into its own. By the end, there’s mention of the Mayans predicting the end of the world in 2012, something by this point you feel the band would welcome with open arms. The rising musical stress echoes the subject matter; Muck Spreader are making a joint statement. Carnal Tongues is ineloquent, cynical and righteous. A well-directed piece from a talented group.

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