MUSK was an idea long before it was a real band. Ringleader Chris Owen and punker scribe Mitch Cardwell had the notion of starting an Aberrant records-style band – hairy knuckled Oz punk with very few chord changes – called MUSK. They did not take, however, into consideration Mitch’s lack of musical ability (not even the good kind of lack of musical ability). A few years later in 2011, Chris ran into Rob Fletcher at the Bottom Of The Hill for feedtime’s first US show. They lamented the total lack of any malevolent garage punk in the Bay Area. Rob brought his ex-bandmate John and this guy Brendan from his Cramps cover band aboard for upcoming rehearsals. Other names considered during these early practices were Merle Dirt and well, something we’d prefer not turn up in every review of this album. Despite learning no less than four other bands were currently operating under the MUSK moniker, it was decided to use it anyways (the label head thought about doing a Google search for “Merle Dirt” but it’s a work laptop).
(photo credit : Corey Arnold)
The Aberrant punk idea gave way to more of a Beasts Of Bourbon/Panther Burns concept after their first year or so together prior to Musk recording a widely hailed debut LP with Chris Woodhouse in two days (see below), but ’Second Skumming’ was completed in a decadent four (suck on that, Pink Floyd). You could say they’ve grown or matured, but YOU’D BE MISTAKEN. Like all great sequels (“The Godfather II”, “Bring It On : All Or Nothing”, “Eddie & The Cruisers II : Eddie Lives”) MUSK 2 amplifies and expands on themes that made ‘Musk’ a favorite amongst misanthrobes & collector skum alike (or is that an oxymoron?) and does so with laser-like focus.
Chris was asked to supply sticker copy for the record and he came up with, “we do poorly with attractive people and people who prefer early period Scientists to late period Scientists.” Sadly, we were looking for something shorter and more to the point.