Hot Mulligan ‘Why Would I Watch’ review

Hot Mulligan’s third full length offering Why Would I Watch sees them just as aggressive and just as mathy and just as emo as ever. And the song titles are still needlessly long.

This is an album in two halves, really. The first half feels more aggressive than the second, with the opener ‘Shouldn’t Have A Leg Hole But I Do’ ripping through in less than two minutes. ‘It’s A Family Movie She Hates Her Dad’ and ‘And I Smoke’ keep their feet firmly down on the pedals of aggression and pace. The more mid-tempo ‘No Shoes In The Coffee Shop (Or Socks)’ slows the pace a little, while preceding it the contemplative, jangly emo of ‘This Song Is Called It’s Called What’s It Called’ provides a brief respite, though this eventually gives way to early days The Wonder Years level of garage punk. This outright punk sound resurfaces on ‘Christ Alive My Toe Damnit Hurts’, the best and most infectious of the first half of the record.

The second half kicks off with ‘Betty’, a moving acoustic song about the death of a pet. This begins the better half of the album. Singles ‘Shhhh! Golf Is On’ and ‘Gans Media Retro Games’ were good choices as they’re two of the strongest songs on the album, while ‘Cock Part 2 (Better Than The First)’ takes the title as best track outright, beginning with the regretful contemplation of the past and building up to a strong climax that leaves a lasting effect. After such a strong bout, the last two songs are inconsequential, but both are quality and mean the album ends strong.

I don’t think this offering is as accessible or, perhaps, even as musically strong as previous outing You’ll be Fine, but the band are pushing themselves to be experimental and expressive throughout and have compiled a confident batch of songs because of it.