The Mysterines have redefined 90s grunge with their debut album Reeling

Posted on 11 March 2022
By Olivia Houghton
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The Mysteries have been described as ‘true force to be reckoned with’. They sold out both of their 2020 and 2021 headline tours and were selected as one of Amazon Music UK’s Ones To Watch 2022. They have supported some big names such as Royal Blood, The Amazons and Sea Girls on tour, as well as headlined the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds.

The Mysterines debut album ‘Reeling’ was made under the watchful eye of acclaimed producer Catherine Marks, who has worked with the likes of Wolf Alice, The Big Moon, PJ Harvey, over three weeks in between lockdowns. Recorded live to capture the intensity of the songs at Assault & Battery studios in London, lead vocalist and guitarist Lia Metcalfe described it as “the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.”

‘Life’s a Bitch’ kicks off the album and brands their iconic sound into the skin of the listener’s ears. The heavy guitar riffs and Metcalfe’s elongated notes are the heart of The Mysterines’ unmistakable sound, and they have made sure to sign their mark all over this album.

Their third track ‘Reeling’ is a canorous concoction of classic rock and grunge. The striking baseline, long whiney notes and 90s style guitar riff make this tune sound like it could be on the B-Side of an Alice In Chains record. ‘Old Friends Die Hard’ is the musical embodiment of black eyeliner paired with a cowboy hat. The E minor and G chord progression are reminiscent of some Nirvana tunes, and the upbeat whistles and twangy guitars give the track a western vibe. The Mysterines’ fresh-take on grunge and rock is re-imaginative and pioneering to the modern alt-rock scene.

‘Under Your Skin’ is rather eerie and the musical notes crawl along the sound waves building into a powerful melody. This track sounds like it could be on the soundtrack of an important slow-mo fight scene in a blockbuster film. Metcalfe’s isolated sultry vocals add a layer of seduction to the track and highlights the band’s versatility.

The final song on the album is ‘The Confession Song’. This dirge is slightly dark and encapsulates all of the emotions that are felt through the rest of the tracks. There are biblical allusions throughout the entirety of the album and this final track solidifies the allegory. The use of notions of God, splintered palms and confessions and sins all hint at a sense of rebellion from the band, almost a vocal statement: “We are The Mysteries and this is us.”

Ultimately this album is an encyclopaedia of the best of 90s grunge and alt-rock. All the greatest tropes of the genre are sprinkled throughout the album, and even better, moulded into a contemporary masterpiece. ‘Reeling’ is innovative and redefines the genre. It’s alt-rock, country-grunge, garage rock goodness! These four young scousers are crawling up that musical ladder and reeling in a rather large fan base. If I was you, I’d listen to them now as I highly doubt they’ll be playing small venues or anything of the matter for long. This band are destined for greatness.