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The Poorly Recorded Perfection of Mystic Priestess

Bottling the energy of 80s punk, Mystic Priestess rag the lip, light and throw us a classic in the Part Time Punks Sessions EP.

Anarcho-queer Siouxsie and the Banshees acolytes Mystic Priestess are a hook-laden, fishnet-wearing, smudged-lipstick outfit with more attitude than a wink at a funeral.

Straight out of the gate the guitars on “Smoke and Mirrors” blaze with the moody teenage tone of angst-ridden rebellion, anarchy writ wrong on the side of a scratched boss pedal, and the broiling energy of homework affairs. Noisy, distorted, needles in the red, writhing, brazen, vital; the PTP (Part Time Punks) Sessions EP is a hex-laden slice of epiphanic punk and a fucking instant classic.

Why should you listen to this? Because it’s the sort of revelation that will transform the American Apparel teens raised on Stranger Things from click-followers to the truly woke. Kids with a wry grin, torn T-shirt, glitter and the brave swagger of the hungry aligned with the side that rode against the Reaganomic neo-conservative capital culture and presaged the slacker culture of Gen X. Born well after the joy of anything dot-com has faded, is this the first sonic awakening of neo-hipster kids? The first post-net generation? The first to truly recognise common cyber culture as just another anonymising, self-help brainwashing, pacifying corporate tool to keep us occupied instead of occupying? Turn it up, turn it off and turn this sinking ship around.

If you consider that most listeners have ears formed by uniform contemporary releases corralled by the lockstep of computer beats and the bored vibe of protosession players, then the impassioned energy of groups like Mystic Princess reaches you like a sacrament. Like tuned tinnitus each katana-chorus-laden guitar is a hit of pure adrenaline, and while it’s hard to make out the impassioned lyrics of Sierra Rose, whatever they are, we agree. This band is a monster — shrieking, mocking, and mourning, why do each of the six goth glories on this EP feel so new?

The grit, grime and organic ecstasy of this EP is unmatched, and with a full hyperbole could be THE touchstone moment of this Coronavirus pandemic. The saxophone solo at the end “No Tomorrow, Only Today” is captivating, poetic and mesmeric. Each bored, desperate, drug-fuelled blast cuts through the mix like a disposable knife sawing through a fried egg. It’s punk’s true call to tear off the bullshit, to arms and to break the cycle of this broken society.

PTP (Part Time Punks) Sessions is a live EP recorded for a session Oakland radio station KXLU put together at Cave Studios in Los Angeles and captures Mystic Priestess as a far more powerful and impressive unit than their previous output suggests. Musically, the band sits together with greater cohesion and in particular the bass finds its feet with more dark magic than on any prior recording. Sonically, this riotous assault is a righteous party of goth-rock bangers. The genre tagging of anarcho-crust-punk misrepresents the band as they are really an accessible goth-rock anthemic dance band with a tonne of soul. Being a live EP there isn’t much variation in the sound per se which works to the band’s favour, and taken as a whole the EP hits you like a classic Misfits or Ramones album. It has immediacy, drive and enough canny dynamics to hold your attention hostage as the beat rolls on. As with both bands and EPs of this type it might be that this release marks the high point of Mystic Priestess’s career, but so what?Listen to this now and start living.

Self released on Bandcamp: https://mysticpriestess.bandcamp.com/album/ptp-sessions

  • Smoke and Mirrors
  • Spiny Wings
  • Eternal Resurrection
  • Blissful Myth
  • Where Were You?
  • No Tomorrow, Only Today

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