Reviewed: May 2021
Released: 2021, TeePee Records
Reviewer: Graeme Smith
When someone mentions the word ‘Jazz’ I normally run to the hills. Today’s offering is a band from Denmark called Mythic Sunship who produce psychedelic music combining rock with free-jazz experimentation. The omens were not good although by all accounts as this was their 6th album and as they have built a substantial following, this might to prove to be an epiphany moment for me.
The album was created in 4 days utilising the talents of the legendary punk producer (seems a strange choice) Per Buhl in Stockholm’s RMV Studio. First up on the album is ‘Maelstorm’ which begins in a fury of guitars mixed with off key saxophone and chaotic drums. It’s clear from the get-go that this will be no easy listen. There are moments that have the Doors and U2 sounds thrown into the mix, but don’t be fooled, this is nothing as polished as those bands. This is free-form jazz rock in full experimental mode. 6 minutes in and I’m struggling and I’ve still 4 to go! The random saxophone is completely irritating and the lack of any sort of cohesiveness is confusing to the ears. It’s a frantic amalgamation of improvisation and haphazardness, however there is a repetitiveness to it as a beat is laid down with the various band members doing their thing over the top of it. It’s a harsh experience and 10 and a half minutes of my life I’ll never get back.
‘Olympia’ is up next and whilst isn’t as jarring as first track, it’s still a marathon to get to the end. I’m not adverse to an instrumental but at 11 minutes of non-structured free form jazz rock it’s a hard swallow. Even my partner begged me to ‘make it stop’ at one point in the proceedings. Another 3 tracks of thankfully shorter length provide nothing new to what the first couple already offer and I’m unclear as to how they decided on the song titles, as to be honest they would have just as well called them Random Jam #1 to #5.
I tried to like it, I really did, but there is simply nothing discernible there to be enjoyable. The experience a frustrating one as well as the band can clearly play their instruments well, but the lack of any structure, the chaotic saxophone along with the exhaustive length of some of the repetitive instrumental songs is simply caustic to the ears. As the band have produced 6 albums it would suggest they do have a fan-base full of aficionados that like their niche style of music. It’s clear however that I was not the best person to review this album as it confirmed what I already knew which is that Mythic Sunship’s free form jazz rock simply isn’t to my taste. Alps, here I come!