Just Mustard – Heart Under

Just Mustard's second album is an ear-piercing piece of intuitively crafted work

Album Review by Jamie Wilde | 23 May 2022
  • Just Mustard - Heart Under
Album title: Heart Under
Artist: Just Mustard
Label: Partisan Records
Release date: 27 May

Dundalk quintet Just Mustard are a bit like the darker, estranged offspring of My Bloody Valentine. Their 2018 debut Wednesday was nothing short of a sonic powerhouse; brimming with haunting soundscapes, it offered a modern take on shoegaze. Four years on, follow-up Heart Under showcases Just Mustard at their best yet.

The band mention in a press release that they want the listener to feel like they’re in a train tunnel while listening to Heart Under. The vortex-like sounds of opening tracks 23 and Still channel this straight away with their metallic clanging and cacophonous guitars. The latter track forms the highlight of the album – its brooding drums, eerie guitar wails and chilling vocals ominously palpable.

Twangs of Irish folk melodies permeate singer Katie Ball’s distant, delicate vocals in tracks like Sore and Seed. She forms the transfixing focal point of the band, and her often minimalistic and open-for-interpretation lyrics channel an obvious sense of sorrow. The use of whirring machinery in Blue Chalk evokes an industrial aura while the swelling guitar effects throughout correlate with the theme of water flowing across the album. Heart Under is an ear-piercing piece of intuitively crafted work.

Listen to: Still, Seed, In Shade