There are some albums that come across your life that leave an indelible mark on you, and you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing the first time you heard them.
For this writer, when it comes to wizard rock, I remember exactly what I was doing the first time I heard “War Amidst Pop Songs” from The Mudbloods. I was blown away with the incredible depth of those songs, songs that I still count among my favorites to this day.
I was sure that EP would remain in my personal Top 3 wizard rock releases, and undoubtedly the best Mudbloods music in their catalog.
Hopefully by this point you’ve all heard it as well, and if not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
After the jump, we’re going to discuss the songs in detail, and we all would rather prefer that you have heard the music, because we don’t want to spoil the joy of hearing these songs for the first time for you.
That’s it – you’ve been warned!
First and foremost, this is most definitely a release from The Mudbloods. If you’ve heard any of their songs, and every wizard rock fan surely has, then you know exactly what you’re going to get from this EP. The songs will be beautiful, they’ll be emotional, and they’ll be perfectly performed.
Those qualities are on display right from the first song, “Unconditional”. All of the songs on this EP (save for the last track) are about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and this track covers Harry’s love for his son Albus. The song is just Adam’s voice and his guitar, with a little bit of reverb. That’s it. And that’s all the song needs. You can hear Harry’s anguish at his relationship with his son in Adam’s voice and his words, but you know that there’s deep love from someone who never had a father figure in his life and is trying to figure things out as he goes along. The song is raw, uncompromising, and heartbreaking all at the same time. And it’s perfect.
“VoldeTrump Day” takes a vision of what would have been if Voldemort had won (one of the possible timelines uncovered by Albus and Scorpius in Cursed Child) and morphs that with a real world future of what things might be like in a United States presided over by a candidate we’re not even going to mention here.
Yeah, that’s one heck of a bleak future.
The charming harmonica and soaring vocals contrast sharply with the bleakness of the lyrics, as Adam sings about the horrors of a closed society that reacts sharply and violently to anything that’s outside of the leader’s norms. You almost feel guilty enjoying the song, given the lyrical content, but enjoy it you will.
It’s finally on the third track that the rest of The Mudbloods make their appearance, making “Married Again” a touching alt-country full band tune. Gentle pedal steel guitar provides a perfect undercurrent to the chorus of Ron professing his undying love to Hermione:
So let’s get married again, I just can’t stand the thought of some other dimension
Where you’re not sleeping in my bed. For every timeline that don’t have our perfect combination
Let’s get married again
The Mudbloods songs are almost always about relationships in some way, shape, or form, and this track nails the simple love that exists between Ron and Hermione. It makes us all either long for the first time we felt that sort of love, or makes us anxious for the day we finally meet someone that makes us feel that way.
If wizard rock fans were in awe of The Mudbloods’ ability to make Snape a sympathetic character with “A Pensieve Full Of Unrequited Love”, then they’ll be absolutely floored with “Find You”. Draco Malfoy, as an adult, has transformed from the arrogant brat we first met into a grieving father whose son is his reason for being. And without his son, he doesn’t know if he can go on. The words of love, respect, and anguish presented over sparse acoustic guitar and a cello grow throughout the song to a tortured finish that leave the listener gasping for breath.
The wizard rock portion of the EP wraps up with the joyous rock of “Oh Rose”, as Scorose shippers around the world rejoice with an anthem to their ship. Adam once again displays his natural knack for writing a song about fictional characters that we all can relate to immediately. Scorpius is head over heels for Rose and he doesn’t care who knows – he just wants to be around her, and I’m sure we all can remember how strongly our first crushes gripped us.
Also, can we petition for The Mudbloods to go on tour so we can all take part in a raucous hand clapping and harmony vocal singing crowd participation experience in the breakdown before the final chorus? Please?
“The Time Tuner EP” closes with “Lindsay’s Song”, a touching tribute from Adam that’s filled with callbacks to a number of earlier Mudbloods songs which fans will immediately recognize. One of the things I’ve always personally admired about The Mudbloods was their ability to seamlessly shift back and forth between wizard and muggle songs, and this closing song is no exception. The driving piano stands out in particular on this track, helping propel the song forward and adding perfect melodic texture.
As mentioned earlier, The Mudbloods have always had the unique ability to craft songs about fictional characters that drew out emotion for people and things in your own life. Listening to this EP hit me hard, both as a husband and a father – the tracks on this EP made me think about my own relationships, and appreciate them even more. Hearing these songs for the first time was a deeply emotional experience, and I’m betting that it was for many of you as well on your first listen (and your second… and your third…).
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and The Mudbloods certainly proved it with this new EP after a nearly 8 year absence from wizard rock. One can only hope that there’s more to come, but if this EP marks the end of their discography, I think it’s strong enough to leave us all satisfied.
Did you pick up the new Mudbloods EP at LeakyCon or from their Bandcamp page? Let us know your thoughts on this unexpected release in the comments below!