Review: The Muggs – Straight Up Boogaloo

Posted on: Sunday, Jul 12, 2015

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The Muggs – Straight Up Boogaloo

(Self-release)

Here’s an absolute blast from the Detroit three-piece, The Muggs . . . who comprise of Danny Muggs (aka Danny Methric, vocals and guitar), Tony Muggs (aka Tony DeNardo, keyboards) and Todd Glass (drums) . . . the music contained on “Straight Up Boogaloo” is a fusion of psychedelic blues and Sabbath-style riffery . . . and how great it is!

The unusual line-up came to happen when sadly DeNardo suffered a severe stroke that nearly claimed his life, and left him paralysed and unable to speak, however eventually after many years he was able to learn his bass lines on a Fender Rhodes keyboard . . . and since then the band have gone from strength to strength.

“Straight Up Boogaloo” is their fourth full-length album and it contains mostly original tunes, together with a few great covers . . . starting in fine style with the uptempo, driving “Applecart Blues”, which contains all the band’s strengths – Danny Muggs riff-heavy guitar in particular standing out and his bandmates pushing the music along. “Lightning Cries” is in a similar rock-mode, with its ‘juggernaut’ riff; as is the huge sounding “Spit And Gristle”.

The pace is taken down for the brooding “Blues For Mephistopheles”, and it is a stand out amongst many. This is followed by the Black Sabbath cover, “Tomorrow’s Dream”, and it is given a really powerful treatment, with the guitar of Danny Muggs again prominent. Prior to some bonus cuts, the title track finishes the album . . . it’s a rolling ‘nod’ to many great blues men who get name checks . . . if you imagine John Lennon singing the blues, well, this is it!

Amongst the bonus tracks is a quite superb “Rattlesnake Shake” – the Peter Green tune stretched out to nearly 12 minutes – which don’t overstay their welcome at all; and the afore-mentioned John Lennon, and Paul McCartney’s “Yer Blues” gets The Muggs treatment as the trio give another super performance, with a fierce guitar solo included.

For those who like their ‘blues with a twist’ and some heavy rock thrown in for good measure . . . a hugely enjoyable release and highly recommended!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.themuggs.com

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