Blues? Hell, yes. But so much more

Usually, if we are honest, MVM couldn’t give the tiniest of tiny rats asses for studio muso stuff, but there’s a sentence about Essex boys Molly’s Daggers that is worthy of further discussion. This, their debut, was recorded in a studio in London by a chap that recorded Mudhoney using only analogue techniques, and was then mastered by a bloke that did the same for The White Stripes.

Not being remotely clued up on these things MV is pissing in the wind slightly, but we are gonna have this stab in the dark: this would be why the damn thing sounds so good. Then there’s another point to be made: “Prima Materia” could sound like dogshit frankly and the songs on it are so excellent that it’d still be ace.

It would be tempting – on the strength of opening track “Give Up Your Loving” to suggest that MD were another blues band with an eye on the primal. Tempting but wrong. You see, for every Stones meets The Kinks thing that’s here, there’s something else right around the corner.

In fact, its like they’ve taken bits and pieces from the history of music right from the moment that Robert Johnson went to the crossroads and did a deal with Satan and distilled it into one handy package.

So it is that “Leaves On The Trees” shimmy’s and shakes and moves off where it chooses on the back of a glorious fuzzed up guitar solo, but then “44 Stone Jenny” is an acoustic track which wouldn’t be out of place on a Billy Bragg record as the band lay bare their dreams of 1950s music and culture.

And it goes on, never pausing anywhere long enough to be bored, “Sweet Mama” is almost bursting to do its business and when it gets cracking it does so with glee, while “Spoon Of Your Sugar” is as perfect a slice of rock n roll that you are going to find anywhere this summer.

But this record and this band are too savvy and full of ideas to be typecast by anyone. “Zinuru” is in the middle of the record as if to prove the point a glorious psychedelic wig out of a thing (and given the obvious debt the band pay to the 1960s the phrase is deliberately chosen) but its far from the only deviation. “So Long” is infused with a kind of countrified air, one which “Needle And Thread” makes explicit, while there’s a rumble and a Hammond Organ about “Turn To Stone” which suggests that this band are not only in it for the long haul, but there’s also nothing they can’t do.

Give it two years and everyone you know will be claiming to love Molly’s Daggers since the start. You might as well get on board now and save time.

Rating 9/10

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