“I tried to be hi-fi,” go the lyrics to “Mosquitoes”, and indeed, in their own way No Museums (and their previous incarnation Twin Library) reproduced a unique and true sound of their own from album to album.
For their latest release The Malcontents, No Museums sound restless and in transition: “I’d settle for something / That could take me away,” they opine later in the same song, “I’ve tried all the stations / They fuzzed out like an old train / This evening silhouettes campfires / I’m miles from there so it’s okay”. The acoustic bent of their latest is miles from the fuzzy, shoegaze-inspired sound that’s become their calling card. The exquisitely gorgeous “Land On The Return” evokes comparisons to The Boo Radleys, another band that expertly merged guitar distortion with acoustic pop. There’s swirling strings and loose tendrils of melody curling through the album closer, compelling the listener to press repeat.
Like a favourite suit that doesn’t fit comfortably anymore, The Malcontents shifts and fidgets its way through an internal rebellion, stretching and loosening up to allow No Museums room to breathe and grow. “While I’m Still Warm” lyrically hints at these themes of rebirth and renewal: “I need a favour / I still haven’t seen your ghost,” the song urgently pleas, “The engine disappeared when I needed it most / And I cannot see anything but smoke from here”. From where I’m standing, the smoke has cleared, and No Museums are up and running on a new track, with a new destination in sight.No Museums, Twin Library