Most of us listen to a lot of music. Radio, TV, streaming services and personal collections make it very easy for us to get our musical fix. What I’ve found interesting lately is the process through which our brains sort out what we want to listen to and what gets discarded or ignored. Which new bands grab our attention and which acts, well, just don’t. Sure, personal taste plays a huge part in this but what I’ve noticed recently is that there may be more mystical powers at work.
Over the past few weeks the name of a band, who are still largely unknown to me, has been popping up out of the blue like some weird recurring theme in a little-known cult B-movie. I first heard of these guys when my daughter told me of a pretty cool band she had met at college. Yeah yeah, okay, nothing much to get the spidey senses tingling there. Not long after this I found myself looking at this name again, this time through the inner workings of our very own Musicscramble website. This did raise an eyebrow but that was about all really. Nothing to see here, move along now.
In the next few weeks in visits to some of Glasgow’s many and thriving small music venues I found myself face to face on more than one occasion with posters emblazoned with this same name. Now I know there were dozens of other posters, with the names of dozens of other bands, but there it was again. And there it was again on a sticker lying on my own coffee table at home! No doubt brought home from college by my daughter and left lying at her backside as usual.
So, who are this band that the universe seems so intent on me noticing? I better have a look.
They are The Mawb and they are a five-piece rock band from Ayrshire. Founded in February 2016 after meeting on the Commercial Music course at UWS in Ayr they don’t seem to have wasted much time in putting together a live set and a self-titled EP which was released in October of the same year. So, I suppose the best way to get to know what they’re all about is to have a listen to the EP.
The EP is a collection of six tracks, although one is a shorter radio edit of the opener, with each song introducing something a bit different. Opener ‘Closure’ bursts in your face with a fine guitar lick that pins your ears back and has you reaching out to turn up the volume. ‘Burn’ is a bit darker musically and vocally.
‘Take It Slow’ is more upbeat and jaunty with a little piano improvisation that somehow seems out-of-place and yet still fits in with what The Mawb seem to be about. Going by the remaining tracks, ‘Everlasting’ and ‘Palpitations’ it is becoming clear to me that what The Mawb are about is classic rock with a serious metal habit.
The Mawb gives a good sample of what these guys have in their locker, although if I’m being honest I think the differences in musical and vocal techniques gives it a ‘college project’ kind of feeling. More importantly, what it does get across is that The Mawb are a talented bunch of lads with a shed load of potential and a musical mission to ensure that fine, riff driven, classic rock and metal, guitar solos and all, still has a place in modern rock.
The Mawb play King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on Friday 28th April. If you head out to catch their set you might just see me there.