Friday, May 15, 2009

Muler - 20th Century Masters: The Singles Collection (1993-98)

In a nutshell (BTW, can anything really fit into one of those suckers?), Muler were the best band in Rochester, NY during the '90s - considering they released but one full-length, that's saying a mighty lot. With the backing of BMG boutique label Dedicated Records, the quartet's 1997 outing, The State of Play eventually became a routine, coast-to-coast dollar bin find. For shame. Muler's roughewn, yet emotively tuneful indie rock bore a bit of a resemblance to another fave New York band of mine, Lotion. It also didn't hurt that guitarist Kristin Durso packed the kind or roar that made Bob Mould so legendary. And dynamics, boy did these guys know to wield some serious dynamics. Finally, add a sprinkle of sinewy dissonance, and you had something pretty devastating on your hands.

In addition to State of Play was a quartet of singles (and a split 7" with locals Lift) that held up just as well. I've assembled all of them here, however One Base on an Overthrow blog already did a piece on the Deep Elm 7" which you can see here. Among the eleven Muler cuts this post concerns, two of them, "Thrush" and "Share an Apple" were rerecorded for the LP. The "Thrush" 45 on Carbon Records (which may still be available for purchase, as well as their final 1998 7") was released as a regular picture sleeve, and again in a die-cut corrugated cardboard sleeve. Very unique and exquisite indeed. "Ghost Writer" from that '98 single would also appear on Muler's swan song, the motelbibleschool ep, also released on Carbon.

The split 7" mentioned above features two early Muler gems exclusive to it's release. Since I don't have very much positive to say about Lift, I shan't say much else at all, other than the fact that I have included their side of the record for, ahem, posterity. Muler vocalist David Baumgartner would go on to front another Rochester band, The Bird Circuit in the early half of this decade releasing two albums that I know of, possibly more. As often is the case, I apologize in advance for any potential vinyl noise. 

Muler 7" discography:
01. Share an Apple
02. Unashamed
03. On the Rug
04. Slowpoke
05. Thrush
06. Toothfairy’s Favorite
07. Smell
08. Here Comes Nod
09. Ghost Writer
10. Rollerskate
11. Naked Frame
12. Tequila Sunrise
13. Valentine

1 & 2 from Gamma Ray Records 7” (1993)
3 & 4 from Deep Elm Records 7” (1995)
5-7 from Carbon Records 7” (1995)
9 & 10 from Carbon Records 7” (1998)
10-13 Muler/Lift split 7” (1994/95?)



Anonymous said...

thanks..i never heard about this band!

is there any more stuff by them?
I love those rough ones like Rollerskate....

spavid said...

Just the album and ep I mentioned. The ep is still available thru the label:

Unknown said...

They also had a song called "Weekend Girl" that can be found on the Popfest compilation, available still from Paisley Pop...

And if you really want to get the single, I bet Jim from Paisley Pop would be willing to sell you one.

M said...

OH MY GOSH I COULD KISS YOU ON THE MOUTH for posting this. I'm from Rochester, and Muler was a fixture for me growing up. I'd dance along to "Toothfairy's Favorite" on WBER, smile when I saw they took their liner note photos behind Wegman's, etc etc. I have wanted that single in particular to share with friends and put on mix tapes, but yeah, vinyl and no elegant way for me to transfer it.

You have made my month. Kiss kiss.

Sam said...

I have their cassette album, I converted it to mp3, the sound quality is ok (not great). Let me know if you want it.

spavid said...

Hey Sam. Yes, I'd love to hear it. Can you provide a link where I can download it? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

reup please mate ! Thanks !

Buffalo Music Archive said...

Happy holidays Spavid. Can you please repost this when you find the time? Thank you!