Last year Chris Mullin, the bassist/co-songwriter of Liverpool outfit The Sums, took time out to explore the solo side of his musical imagination, the result a debut EP which was as richly enjoyable as it was heartfelt. This year he has done the same. Momentarily taking time away from recording The Sum’s third album, Mullins has created and unveiled a new collection of tracks in the shape of the Sooner or Later EP, an encounter which simply puts its impressive predecessor in the shade.
Also former member of Hurricane #1, Mullin has been a potent part of his home city’s current musical fabric through The Sums, his other projects and writing and also producing. As shown by the previous Myself Fooling Me EP, his solo side music has the potential to be just as impacting; indeed the introduction to his own sounds easily drew acclaim and attention. As suggested, Sooner or Later builds on and eclipses the emotively woven and sensitively delivered sounds of its predecessor. It has a spring in its step contrasting the melancholic gait of the first release but still embraces its calm and intimacy with fresh adventure and imagination.
Released on his self-owned Nowhere Music, Sooner or Later opens up with the immediately infectious Lonely Fools. Its initial melodic clang easily tempted ears, the subsequent reflective stroll centred by bass, voice, and guitar captivating them as melodic shimmers and sonic caresses surround the Mullin’s lure. Though not exactly in sound, there is something of Pete Wylie to the outstanding track, a slice of indie pop intimation and infection which just lit our ears and appetite.
The following Just Want You to Know is equally as magnetic, its instinctive catchiness aligned to personal openness in tone and word. Rhythms again entice as keys suggest and guitars weave, vocals making their earnest declaration with equal allurement and sincerity. As the first, the song is nothing less than contagious pleasure, third song, Dissatisfied Mind, enticing from the same instinctive template. Its shadows come with hopeful light, its emotional insecurity with a vibrancy that wants to escape within a weave of sound which just seduced ears.
The track completes easily the three best songs from Mullin’s solo work yet, a trio alone making Sooner or Later one irresistible proposition with the icing on the cake being its title track. An acoustic croon with imagination embracing orchestration, bold adventure, and organic catchiness understated but lively as it infests the spirit, the track just enthrals as it pleasures; those few words pretty much summing up the Sooner or Later EP as a whole.
The rumour is that Mullin’s next offering might be a full-length adventure; we for one are not only up for that, after Sooner or Later, we are greedy for it.
Sooner or Later is out now on Nowhere Music, available as download only from most stores and https://chrismullin.bandcamp.com/album/sooner-or-later
Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018
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