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Usually mixing two different genres can earn a band notoriety, but not a fanbase. Some bands, make it work, though, like Whourkr, and I guess I can add The Mung to the list of bands that didn't fall on their face trying this. This band have basically taken the chuggier, slower side of slam death metal, mixed it with the vocals and blast styles of goregrind, and then injected with some southern sludgy-style riffs, a la Eyehategod or Black Label Society. This is not a band I listen to with a straight face - seeing as the band has apparently run out of fucks to give about their music, I'll pay them the same respect as a listener. That's not to say their value is only novel - the riffs this band use are genuinely good and catchy. But let's face it: is a band with song titles like "Fun with Fudge" really going to warrant the same kind of response from the listener as, say, Opeth or some other comparatively wimpy band? The answer is obviously no.
The Mung's music doesn't seem to have much in the way of coherence - it feels like a bunch of riffs and slams superglued together to make a song. This works most of the time, but that's simply because the riffs are good. I guess that's the main criticism I came up with against this band: the songs don't really have any sense of conclusion. They don't just fail to hit a climax or an ending, they don't even find a starting point. That's fine if I'm looking to something to listen to for the hell of it or, once again, without any fucks required to be given on my part, but this band is simply a bit too incoherent for me to get the most out of it just sitting here at my computer. And don't get me wrong - I really, really like this band. But they could do a bit more to give their songs a sense of flow.
The production is deep and resonant, perfect for the chunky slam riffs The Mung play. The slams don't have all that much in terms of variety, but it's a slam - does it need variety? The southern-stylized riffs are actually really good, and I applaud this band for managing to put one of the less abrasive metal genres side-by-side with two of the heaviest, most relentless genres metal has to offer. I'm not a big sludge/southern metal fan, so I can't make many observations on how they're doing in that genre compared to other bands, but suffice to say it's melodic and it somehow fits with the rest of the madness.
The vocals are almost as unique as the style The Mung play. There are the occasional raw, low gurgles used by goregrind bands everywhere, and you get some pitchshifted gurgles here and there too, but there are these weird...I don't know how to describe them. It's like a scream with the gargling noise of typical goregrind vocals. Very interesting. Alongside the southern metal parts, the band usually opts to use shouts or unaltered screams, and both are raw but solid.
This seems to be one of those bands that I'll end up playing for a long time. They could work on the song structure a bit, but I suppose if I'm in the mood to listen to a band that mixes two seemingly unrelated genres, the last thing I'm worried about is how they arrange their songs. Check these guys out.