The name MugstarÂ has long beenÂ a brand name of sorts amongst seasoned psych lovers, soÂ you wouldnât be far wrong expecting the walls to come crashing down around your ears within the first few minutes of ‘release’â as typically, thatâs what you get with a Mugstar album. They have that near-unique sonic ability whereby eons of galactic mass is suddenly spewed out into the void, only to be channelled, reined in and conquered again by the time the track or album has finished. Visually, like billions of stars imploding â rushing back to centre and the start of the universe like a needle tracking deep black wax, and theyâve honed that skill so well over the past few years; itâs possible to feel each end of the spectrum within a 4 minute 7â side or a 40 minute slab of 12â vinyl.
So has working on a soundtrack project had a mind altering effect? With Ad Marginem, theyâve produced a more focused sound where slow building, pulsating passages of uncluttered drift, guide the listener with almost blind faith to what ultimately transcends as a very similar feeling â itâs still one of âpure euphoriaâ but in a far less anarchic way. Where previous sonic assaults have seen Liverpoolâs finest space rock outfit tear through cosmic walls with enough aggression and immediacy to suggest theyâre constantly smashing through several thousand sound barriers â with Ad Marginem, they deliver their doses of sound with a more measured, considered and melodic approach and each of the 7 tracks has enough room to shrink, swell and subside in equal measure. Itâs altogether a more fluid, reflective (but equally hypnotic) ride.
Ad Marginem perfectly demonstratesÂ their ability to deliver creativity within the constraints ofÂ aÂ shared vision, whilst remaining true to themselves and pushing their own sound forward. It confirms them as masters of their craft and the lack of reverb soaked guitars and the inclusion of a tripped-out, tribal drumming style are what gives this album itâs edge and depth â and with it,Â a new found maturity in their signature sound.