Easter Monday - Mustang Jerx (J-Pop)
It's the fourth full album for Japanese trio Mustang Jerx and while they're not a household name in Australia, there's a small but willing fanbase here awaiting their third visit on the back of this record.
"Easter Monday" is nimble blues-rock with a swing in the bottom-end and a scything slide guitar up front. Their 2019 visit to these shores will follow similar hit-and-run missions six and five years before, and will owe much to the mutual admiration between them and Sydney band Bunt.
Mustang Jerx sing in their native language so the lyrical themes are impenetrable to these ears, but the music they grind out is universal in its rawness and punchy appeal. It's dirty and unpolished - and you know that's gotta be a plus when you mix it with sticky carpet and liberal amounts of beer.
If urgency is your desire, you'll dig "Please Don't Touch" with its runaway train sound and scorching slide kicking things home. Bassist Satoru Takamori sings with a ton of passion and the engine room of Mag on drums and Rika on bass leave gaps in all the right places.
The wordy "Prismatic Colours" and the bluesy blare of the title track are highlights. "Choo Choo Train of Tears" (a CD bonus cut) proves these three can boogie with the best of them and wouldn't have been out of place in the Aussie beer barns of the early 1980s.
While you might denizens of late-night live music pubs might celebrate your ability not to spill a drop, Mustang Jerx live off the fact that they don't waste a note. The album's 10 songs of economical, guitar-fuelled fun.