Hot Mustard dropped their 2nd full-length album, Seconds, on Friday, and it does not disappoint. The project is a 9-song smorgasbord of food-named tracks that both charge forward and chug along, driven by a creative use of horns, groovy bass and drums, and dynamic guitar.
The album title Seconds is a double-entendre: once you notice the names of the tracks, you take it to mean a second helping of food, rather than units of time. But it’s also the group’s second album. And some of the songs (particularly “The End of Time”) explore the cyclical nature of life. It’s a cleverly chosen title.
Opening track “Gravy Boat” sets the mood of the album with a sharp guitar riff that has a sly, stealthiness to its cadence. The beat and horns play along, mirroring the guitar.
“The Golden Beet” follows with more emphasis on the bass, which is quick and choppy, veering almost toward surf rock. Mellow keys also meander throughout the track.
Midway through the album, “Mustard Green” zooms in. It’s the song with the most electronic, sci-fi influence out of the bunch, and it’s a dreamy delight.
Tracks “Butcher Block,” “Mustard Green,” “Nickel Empire,” and “The End of Time” all feature music videos crafted by Jack Powell, one-half of the duo that is Hot Mustard, under his artist moniker Opus Thimble. They’re worth checking out if you’ve somehow missed them.
On its surface, Seconds feels laid back and jammable, but the tracks are not without a touch of darkness. Though “The End of Time” is the only song to include lyrics and a vocalist (powerhouse Alanna Royale), there is a pensive, introspective quality that can be heard in the moodiness of the horns, the note choices, and the plodding beat of much of the music.
We hope that Hot Mustard will debut a live show sometime soon, because we want to experience the unique craftsmanship of these tracks in real life. In the meantime, we’ll settle for streaming: you can check out Seconds below.