October 20, 2002

Mustard Plug "Yellow No. 5"

Ahhhhh, ska-punk! This new Mustard Plug record had me skankin' like it's '96 all over again with zero apologies for doing so! Mustard Plug have been beltin' out the ska with a punk flair for many a moon now, and I guess that Yellow #5 finds the band in fine form, keepin' with their ska tradition.

Don't know why, but the mix seems to hold back the music. The music's great, but the horns seem buried back behind the punk-rock guitar. It sounds really muted in places, a shame, because those trumpets & bones should be louder instead of sounding like they're way back in the back of the room. I also can't put my finger on why, but the music seems to have a hint of sadness to it, too. I really liked the music, especially "The Park" and "Sorry Now," which turns the horns up to loud and really rips!

I saw these guys live a few years ago and I thought they were red hot! Yellow #5 may not be as hot as that show, but it's still pretty rockin'. I don't know if there are that many bands still making ska-punk anymore, but it's good to see a good band like Mustard Plug, that bucks the trends and simply makes the music that they like, without caring about if the music's still trendy or not.

--Brandon Random

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