Muhammadali - Muhammadali [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Muhammadali [12-inch] (2012)

Dirt Cult Records

This is my first exposure to Muhammadali and the initial salvo to "Someday" is quick to lead me to believe that this is another solid Dirt Cult Records band that can deliver gritty yet melodic punk rock with an abundance of fuzz as its bedrock. However, I was not prepared for what I was truly letting myself in for with this eight-track release. As both the first, and subsequent, tracks play out it is clear that this is not just another typical release, and regardless of what label this came out on, it's a (and I'm only just about to resist the urge to swear to help emphasise my point across here) marvelous record.

Yes, it's certainly got elements of the sort of sound that bands like God Equals Genocide and the Shang-A-Langs have; a dirty, edgy guitar providing a driven garage punk attack, but on top of that Muhammadali has the ability to create a behemothic song like "Explodin' Ego," which is five-and-a-half minutes full of demented, sludgy and melodic joy–one of the best tracks I've heard in a while–as well as songs that almost defy description like the awesome "Elephant".

The final track, intriguingly titled "Secret Track" without really being hidden, is another fine example of what this band is capable of and although it's not actually a cover as many such titled songs are on records, there is a nod towards Hickey in the lyrics. Musically this track has an itchy quality in its sound, which you can almost feel pricking away at your skin as it enters into your body in any way it can to take up permanent residence in your consciousness for eternity.

It would be interesting to know exactly what has influenced this band to come up with eight such great tracks, and whether that be drink and/or drugs or just pure unadulterated genius, Muhammadali manage to deliver on many levels, with pure pop melodies sitting alongside grunge-like (and I'm not using the word "grunge" as it was applied to the Seattle scene in the early '90s) riffs in equal measures, all within the same song and doing so with a harmony that shows that these songs are not just thrown together in a jumble. Muhammadali could be viewed as a weird band, but I'd just say that they are head and shoulders above most other outfits around at the moment and let's hope that there is more to come.

This is one of the best releases from Dirt Cult Records and that's no mean feat.