Premiere: Jouk Mistrow’s EP I’m the Villain So Don’t
Newly appointed four-piece band, Jouk Mistrow, have circumnavigated the Brisbane music scene for a few years now, and have released their new EP, I’m the Villain So Don’t. Recorded by Konstantin Kersting of the Belligerents fame at Airlock, the band have matured since their days as Rabbit, now Jouk Mistrow are back after a brief hiatus to bring their blend of indie rock to forefront of our beloved scene.
The EP begins with the aptly named Interlude. To quote the Oxford Dictionary, Interlude acts as an intervening or interruptive period, space, or event: an interval. Interlude begins the EP but also acts as a transition from the old band to the new, while still staying true to the band’s sound. It’s a slow, dissonant, one-minute instrumental that introduces the listener to the sleek-rock tone Jouk Mistrow delivers.
A Silhouette begins with an almost duelling melody between the guitar and the bass, something that listeners of Arctic Monkeys or Bloc Party would be familiar with. The guitar effects ebb and flow through the chorus as the bass bobs up and down; lead singer Ethan Greaves singing, “and all I know is the feeling of a cigarette.” Speaking with the band, they stated the lyrics came later when Ethan was having an existential crisis while he boarded in a house with a 60-year-old lawyer during his third year of university. It’s a song you can dance to, juxtaposed with a relatively emotional insight on Ethan’s attitudes on leaving home and starting to smoke cigarettes.
The third track, Oh Well, begins with a strong snare and hi-hat combo from the illustrious Stu Mckenzie. The crisp tone of the guitar resembles many of the Indie-Brit-Rock bands that came to the forefront in the mid-2000s, the likes of Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys – their early material at least. It’s easy to hear Jouk Mistrow’s influences, but the band stand apart through their almost solo-like bass lines and Greaves’ vocal performance. He brings a softer, cleaner approach to his hard hitting lyrics that his peers might deliver differently, maybe it’s the Aussie accent.
The Downstare follows, beginning with a cacophony of dark tones thrown from the bass and the guitar that smoothens out as Rian King’s bass takes a melodic walk-about. This track resembles the dawn of Jouk Mistrow in a sense, as the previous tracks had been released earlier in the band’s career. Tinny guitar lines break up the verses in a constant build through the first half of the track. At the height of the Downstare, there’s an almost call and response in the vocal line between Greaves and King. The band move into a breakdown with a strong guitar solo that stands at the forefront of the track, the melodic vocals floating over the top.
The EP ends on the oldest track in the band’s discography and has become a staple of Jouk Mistrow’s live set for years. The bass thumps along against the crashing cymbals, the guitar soaring into high-fret territory in what sounds like it’s a fucking awesome jam song, and something I can vividly imagine being the highlight of a live performance.
Jouk Mistrow’s latest EP will certainly please fans who enjoyed the influx of British indie rock bands through their teen years. It’s a solid display of the genre, emphasising the rock aspect in the flooded indie market, that will surely excite anyone who sees them live.