Mythic Sunship ‘Upheaval’ Vinyl/CD/Dig (El Paraiso) 5/5

Mythic Sunship’s grief at Denmark’s demotion to third place in the UN’s ‘World Happiness Report’ is clear to hear on new album Upheaval.

The news is broken through gyrating guitar on opening track ‘Tectonic Breach.’ As it reaches the drummer’s ears, he starts up with a defiant beat to bash away the onslaught of supposed fallacy, joined by a denial tinged bass. There’s Norway that Denmark are no longer second. The guitars keep battling, trying to get through to the band that what they say is true; Norway is the second happiest country on the planet.

At around 4:37 into the twelve-minute-long track there is a moment where the clouds part, as if they are stopping to hear what the other has to say. This respite doesn’t last long; alarm bells start to ring, and all hell breaks loose. Pure, mug smashing anger spills forth as jabbing fingers are pointed in search of someone to blame. Just when you think they’ve calmed down enough to be reasonable, god dammit, they fly off the wall again. Why Norway? Can they even hygge though?

‘Aether Flux’ begins by taking a calmer tact; perhaps the study was wrong, could you please check again? In a long, beautifully constructed plea, with some very good points indeed, their attempts at reasoning transcend into track three, ‘Cosmic Rupture.’ But, no matter how fantastic your rolling drums are, the results are final. There’s no bargaining when it comes to the United Nations.

And then, as fast as lightning, depression. A looming wall of it. Brooding, savage, moody. Bass of doom and guitar-lined tears. ‘Into Oblivion.’ But, almost as sudden, ¾’s of the way through, a moment of clarity. Reality is starting to show its crystal clear head.
Finally, peace, retrospection, acceptance. Flow and clarity. Perhaps the results are right. Perhaps we could be happier. And we will, just you wait, World, the Danish will not stop smiling just because some busy bodies reckoned it.

Or, perhaps, Upheaval isn’t an expression of a band’s disappointment at a worldwide report, and is, more accurately, a demonstration of Mythic Sunship’s excellent, exuberant psychedelic rock on their third album released by El Paraiso Records.

Sam Turnell