Miraculous Mule had been sent to us as a suggested Band of the Day feature along with their upcoming album. As I gave the album a listen through, I’d been in two minds whether to feature the London-based trio as Band of the Day or review the album in full. That was until I heard track ten, and then I just couldn’t resist doing a full album review.
This is a gorgeous set of tunes dripping in gospel and Southern blues-inspired heavy rock, and if you inhale while you listen you can smell the Jack Daniels oozing from its pores. Think of the sass of Lenny Kravitz coupled with the rhythm of the The Black Keys and the heaviness of Rival Sons then put the whole lot into 2017 on steroids and you’re about there.
What sets Miraculous Mule apart is that they are clearly creative, inventive and not afraid to maintain a large dose of darkness while coming across light-hearted. The album expresses truth and sadness about our current difficult times while successfully keeping a firm grip on hope and beauty.
Miraculous Mule was formed in 2011, with Michael Sheehy on guitar, his brother Patrick on bass and their childhood friend Ian Burns on drums. Growing up in London to Irish Catholic parents, Michael and Patrick set out to make music, not fame and fortune, but music from the soul. Michael previously fronted cult band Dream City Film Club and released no fewer than five solo albums. As a band, their previous release Deep Fried from 2013 met rave reviews, but now is the time for the eagerly-awaited follow up.
Mighty album opener “Holy Fever” delivers high energy rock with a brilliantly melodic riff running throughout. The vocal delivery is purposeful but not overly dominating. It’s a great intro to the record but as the tracks are all quite unique, you won’t find the album necessarily carries on in the same flavour.
“Sound of the Summer” is a definite highlight and really does what it says on the tin. Yes, you can imagine summer parties with this on the playlist, or blaring from your car on the way to the beach, but, there is a dark undertone in the lyrics so this is not your usual sound of the summer.
Very topical “Where Monsters Lead” sums up our current dire state of affairs with world leaders and works as a reminder to not get caught up in all the lies and propaganda, and yet again manages to marry that dark reality with music that is bright and hopeful. But I guess that sums up the blues.
Title track “Two Tonne Testimony” is a great tune, completely original and a refreshing angle on all things relating to rock music and religion. Musically it has an upbeat pace and a hefty dose of retro reverb on the guitars. I am becoming a huge fan of this band and can see their album firmly making its place into my collection.
I have to give mention to the epic album closer “Blues Uzi”. At 6 minutes 55 seconds it is a swaggering delight of gospel infused blues rock. For some reason it reminds me of the Alabama 3 song used as the theme tune to The Sopranos, but slap on a tonne more attitude with heavy guitars and you’re only half way there. It is musically sumptuous, lyrically genius and you’d be a fool not to give it a listen.
Two Tonne Testimony comes out on 24th March via Bronze Rat Records