MT MISERY – ” Once Home, No Longer “

Posted: June 11, 2021 in MUSIC
Mt. misery   once home  no longer artwork

The debut album from Mt. Misery reflects a timeless but beautiful heartbreak for fans of Real Estate, Whitney, Teenage Fanclub and Alvvays.

It would be easy to shower Mt. Misery with the kind of shimmering west coast plaudits previously reserved for cult luminaries like Arthur Lee and Dennis Wilson, but the more prosaic truth would be that Muscle Beach and palm trees are about as far removed from the windswept headland of their hometown of Hartlepool as it’s possible to be. However, an acute sense of being and the bittersweet turbulence of life – shared by the aforementioned sun-kissed greats – gives the band’s debut album Once Home, No Longer an impressive geographical authenticity. Released on the brink of summer, the themes within this remarkable record overarch like a rainbow, with the tracks waxing and waning like sunlight shining through cracks on the pavement.

The songs reflect a timeless but beautiful heartbreak for fans of Real Estate, Whitney and Alvvays, but under the surface, there is a mature determination to succeed that can only be cultivated in the working-class environs of a northern town. Hiding beneath the intense grey clouds that serve only to stop the freezing ocean spray escaping into the sky, Andrew, Lewis and Ste still walk to rehearsals past the careworn shops and tired arcades in a seaside town they forgot to close. Although Once Home, No Longer may have been made in Hartlepool, its sempiternal sound isn’t constrained by grid references.

Serendipity being the band’s friend, Hartlepool’s Prefect Records were perfectly placed. Set-up to facilitate the debut release by Ex-Void, a new project from Owen and Lan of Joanna Gruesome, label head Mark Dobson (ex-The Field Mice) used to run the legendary Syndrome indie night in London in the late 1980s, which was synonymous with ‘the scene that celebrates itself’ and the fledgling careers of a whole host of bands like Blur and Ride. The DIY ethos that also extended to The Field Mice’s legendary Sarah Records label has stood Mark in good stead, although he is also keen to point out that although the label is based in the North East, it’s purely coincidental that Mt. Misery live half a mile down the road.

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