19 May 2022
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Mudbelly - Single Review: Baby U No Good

07 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to both survive the ravages of Canterbury’s wild weather and experience the force of nature which is Mudbelly, with the latter more than making up for going out in the driving rain to get to the gig. This means I am in the somewhat unusual position of having heard this song played in concert prior to coming across the recorded version, and it is interesting to hear just how different it is in this setting. Of course, part of that is due to only singer Bex and drummer John still being in the band from those who played on this, but Mudbelly in concert are a blues-based beast who take no prisoners and are slightly more restrained in the studio.

What strikes one from the off is the riff, which involves chords being slid into, combined with the production, which deliberately keeps the guitar sparse and somewhat dated. The song commences with just guitar and no other instrumentation, and one is taken back into the Sixties, and when the second guitar comes in, one still does not imagine this is a modern song: it is only when it comes to the chorus where it becomes much more of a rocker.

The song is rooted in blues, brought alive by the incredible vocals of Bex who has a breadth and depth to her voice that is so often missing from performers of today, living and breathing the words she sings, packed full of emotion and power. There is loads of space within the arrangement, so much so that even with multiple guitars being overlaid one never feels it is too oppressive and over the top. The riff is simple, feeling as if it comes out of the early electric blues scene from the likes of Lightnin’ Hopkins, a stark reminder of times gone by, with the warmth of the vocals taking it in a different direction. She has been compared to Amy Winehouse, but while I do see that, I feel she is more of a Maggie Bell/Janis Joplin style of singer, and although here she is somewhat restrained, when it comes to the chorus, she shows what she can do with her voice, powering through.

It is a classic number, totally out of keeping with what many would expect to hear from a modern band, and all the better for it. The production is sympathetic to the style, and the result is something which will make lovers of classic, blues-based rock (me!) simply smile as we keep putting it on repeat.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Mudbelly

Mudbelly. It's a name.

We are a dirty blues band from Christchurch. If we were ever invited to define ourselves in the Oxford Dictionary: Power-rockin, ball-bustin, whisky-whackin ninjas of blues laden rock would be in our top three.

Fronted by Bex, swaggering rock banshee who won her voice in a poker game with the devil, together with Michael (guitar), Marcus (bass) and John (drums), the sound....just sounds right.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mudbelly

Releases

Mudbelly
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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