Constant Mongrel Living in Excellence
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Formed in 2009 Constant Mongrel begun as a two piece (Tom Ridgewell and Hugh Young) creating immediate and at times improvised songs in an old dishevelled laundry in inner city Melbourne. Inspired by the more flamboyant side of protopunk such as Electric Eels and Chrome, over the next few years the band added members Amy Hill (bass) and Andrew Murray (guitar) building upon their intense sound and developing a unique humour. Consisting of members from Terry, Woollen Kits, Nun and Taco Leg, Constant Mongrel has several previous releases on RIP Society Records and Siltbreeze Records.
After three years since their last release Constant Mongrel have developed a diverse collection of songs gradually over time. Recorded in the summer of 2017 in a studio, produced by Tom Hardisty and Mastered by Mikey Young, ‘Living In Excellence’ brings a more formed sound and aesthetic with striking riffs and catchy rolling bass over an often unhinged, vibrant rhythm section. Added for this on particular tracks is a fried, effected saxophone with warm synths and analogue sounds added to enhance the LP’s thoughtful textures.
The new record has a sharper British Post Punk expression reminiscent of the usual suspects in Wire, Blitz, The Mob, Siekiera and The Fall, while also exploring elements found outside of the genre from Les Rallizes Dénudés to Youth Crew Hardcore to Country music and beyond, there’s greater depth and sensibility found amongst the angst.
James Vinciguerra (of Total Control fame) designed the cover which is a perfect depiction of this modern day punk record with its sharpness, colour and feeling of slight discomfort.
The bands lyrics and themes vary in subject matter. Songs of certain romance, the monotonousness of self-loathing, the joy of a riot, atrocity of western religion, an abundance of a fresh modern fascism, white-middle-class-self-entitled guilt and the beauty in misinterpretation. But behind every idea the tongue remains continually in cheek as the bands humor seeps through and prevails in its sound.
The truth is that none of us are truly Living In Excellence and this false mantra is prominent throughout a record that is over flowing with character, bleak satire and grunt.