Cate Le Bon: Mug Museum (Wichita) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Cate Le Bon

Mug Museum


Nov 15, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Welsh songwriter Cate Le Bon returns, less than two years removed from her triumphant Cyrk. There’s a dreamy, gauzy feel in many of the record’s 10 tracks; Le Bon’s recent relocation to sunny CaliforniaMug Museum was recorded in Los Angelescould have a lot to do with it. “No God” is embodied by a strong, rolling bass line and high-gain guitar; “Mirror Me” floats on faint, feverish church organ and sluggish, thumping drums. There’s a palpable heat in her new songs that’s more intense than her previous work; you can hear the fiery psychedelia in the swirling, clashing woodwinds and scorched, distorted chords. The crawling guitar lead in “Cuckoo Through the Walls” feels completely burned out; the amplifier sounds equally overtaxed on “Wild.” In the racing “Sisters,” Le Bon’s lyrics invoke startling images of hands being set on fire; in the chorus, she sings “I’m a sister/I won’t die.” (Le Bon cites the emergence of the album’s themes followed her maternal grandmother’s passing and the shift in familial relationships that ensued.)

At a couple points, the pace of Mug Museum slows down and feels meditative, bringing the record’s boil down to a cooler simmer. The bright, pretty “Are You With Me Now?” has a laid-back, lazy Sunday vibe. The album’s highest pointa duet with Perfume Genius titled “I Think I Knew”is also its calmest; it comes at the midpoint of this robust, sometimes-frenzied experience, giving listeners a much-needed moment to catch their breath. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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