Mulligrub – Soft Grudge
Mulligrub’s “Soft Grudge” is a playful mixture of punk and pop with a defiant strident approach. Sung with great passion the songs linger in the mind long after they are over. In the same vein as Courtney Barnett’s work, the way these songs flow together creates a vivid snapshot of what it means to be alive right now. That means these songs explore rejection, depression, relationships, and the disappointment of the now. Balancing out the punk impulses is the relatively twee approach that helps to give the album a kindness, a sensitivity of the bleakness that can threaten to consume a life.
Jagged edges open on “Canadian Classic”. Smooth vocals offer a nice counterpoint to the slight lo-fi sound that defines the song. Nicely executed in the quiet work of “NFLD”. With this piece Mulligrub employ great patience as the piece comes into bloom quite beautifully. This introspective mood continues on the gingerly tempo of “Mountains & Houses”. Delivered with the utmost of urgency is the bouncy giddy spirit of “Europe”. By far the highlight of the album is the lovely work of “Man In The Moon”. Highly articulate and descriptive this song is the heart and the soul of the entire album. Closing the album off on a high note is the rollicking ramshackle rhythms of “Sprite Zero Slushie”.
“Soft Grudge” is a beautiful portrait of contemporary life, of the highs and lows that can define a person, and Mulligrub does it with the greatest of ease.