"Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven"

By Dr. Abner Mality

My first and only experience with Sweden's Mustasch was their 2007 release, "Latest Version of the Truth". It was an odd, original record that stuck in my mind during the intervening years. Now they come flying my way again with "Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven", boasting a winged skull on the cover that must have raised some eyebrows in the Overkill camp.

This band very much dwells in a world of their own. Hardcore underground metallers will probably be turned off by their very clean, melodic sound. But even though there is a certainly a poppiness and cleanliness to their sound, there is also a certain darkness that gives them an edge. To me, they resemble a large round ball of chrome that has had all the rough edges smoothed and everything shined up to a high degree...but it's still quite heavy. A metalized version of The Cult is the closest I can come...punchy, simple metal with clean but gutsy singing from Ralf Gyllenhammar. The opening track "Speed Metal" is a weird one, because there is not too much speed's almost like they are challenging or even taunting listeners. In fact, the next track "The Challenger" shows the band at their best and I understand the song has become a hit in Europe.

Quirkiness abounds in odd tracks like "It's Never Too Late" and "Your Father Must Be Proud of You"...the lyrics are head scratchers and seem to be private musings of some kind. I like the heaviness of "Dead Again" and "I Don't Hate You"...there seems to be less of a Beatles/Floyd influence here than there was on "The Latest Version of the Truth" and more of an emphasis on riffing. But things are never totally cut and dried.

Yes, hard to put a finger on Mustasch. Adventurous hard rock and metal fans are encouraged to check them out.