Mull Historical Society: Us
Mull Historical Society: Us
Artist Mull Historical Society
Album Us
Label XL Recordings
Released 3/18/2003
While instantly recognisable as a Mull record, Us marks an obvious progression for Colin. 'I think I've stripped things down,' he says. 'I've still tried to use different instruments and to really push myself, but it's more concise this time. When I was recording it, some of the songs had 90 separate tracks on them, but when I was mixing it I was much more brutal than with Loss. I took away so much stuff that I'd added. Y'know, sometimes you don't need keyboard zaps.' Instead the songs have been given room to stand up for themselves. Us is also a more overtly personal record than Loss. 'On the first album I tried to relay a lot of my thoughts and emotions through characters,' admits Colin, 'but there's less of that on Us. It is a lot more about me.' That newfound openness burns bright on songs about avoiding emotional ruts (first single 'The Final Arrears'), learning to like yourself (the unfeasibly catchy 'Asylum') and not taking life too seriously (the power-poptastic 'Gravity'). But the sharp observational songs that led to comparisons between Loss and 'The League Of Gentlemen' are here too. Colin's ability to spin a ripping yarn is reaffirmed by tracks like the claustrophobic 'Minister For Genetics And Insurance M.P.', which shows the world closing in on a depressed Member of Parliament and 'The Supermarket Strikes Back', the sequel to 'Barcode Bypass' in which the evil supermarket owner, responsible for putting the local corner shop out of business, has to face his conscience. Not surprisingly, Colin is incredibly pleased with the album. 'I loved recording it, although it was an incredible workload.' he says. 'I felt really confident with the songs I had to choose from. In fact, over the year in the studio there'd be times I was actually hurting mentally and physically because of how many songs I was trying to deal with(some 35 songs were completed). I’ve collated ideas in all kinds of ways over the past 18 months, hours of dictaphone tapes, pages of notebooks and countless calls to my own answer-phone leaving messages and melodies. But the 14 that became Us just rose to the top.' They certainly did.