Chicago’s new kid on the DIY block, Mush, kicked their career off with a bang, releasing their debut four song EP, Protect Your Brand, on Skeletal Lightning Records. Nothing short of a supergroup, the band features members of La Dispute, Dowsing, Pet Symmetry, Annabel, Droughts and Lettering, effectively acting as an emo hall of fame.
At the forefront of it all is vocalist Erik Czaja’s (Dowsing, Pet Symmetry) signature (and exemplary) smart and sentimental songwriting, paired flawlessly with his one-of-a-kind, matter of fact, punk-tinged vocals. Accompanying him is a ’90s/early 2000s inspired power pop sound, accomplished in such a way that nods to the greats before them like Third Eye Blind, Saves the Day and Piebald, while still maintaining a uniqueness. Upbeat yet grungy riffs keep the energy up and consistent throughout the EP, preventing a dull moment from even thinking about happening. As cohesive and well put together as their sound is, it’s hard to believe this is a debut. Making it short and sweet, Protect Your Brand sweeps you off your feet in less than 9 minutes and has me impatiently waiting for more.