"Gone And Faded"
January 14, 2014 - No Idea
Michigan's long-running Mustard Plug are one of the best out there at combining high-energy ska with melodic pop-punk, but it's been a long time since they've put out a full-length. Luckily, the landscape of high-energy ska/melodic pop-punk isn't the most amorphous, so they still fit in just fine at the top of the heap. Maybe it's something to do with the seven-year gap between this album and their last, or maybe it's a revitalized late-career resurgence following a record label switch over to No Idea, but these songs party harder than the band have in a while.
The ludicrously catchy "Bang!" offers up no surprises but worms its way into your brain with such intensity that, well... trust me, you just really need to be careful because it looks outrageous when you're skanking alone in your place of work. "Gone And Faded" brings to mind Less Than Jake's ska-tinged melodic pop-punk, filled with melancholy but also making you feel good at the same time.
Are there some borderline cheeseball moments? Ska wouldn't be ska without it: Parts of "Running Out Of Time" and "Shakin' It Up" flirt with eye-roll rock, and it's a bit embarassing. Moments like those aren't so much fun when you're listening to this at home or boppin' down the street with this on your headphones, but no doubt they just add to the fun live. Welcome back, Mustard Plug.