The guitar tone on the record is permanently set somewhere between jangly and jagged, and vocalist David Baumgartner’s range sounds most comfortable when he’s channeling Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World. But that’s not to say Baumgartner stays strung out in his higher register.
And while there are plenty of catchy vocal hooks to grab ahold of, much of the album’s beauty is in the thick guitar textures of Baumgartner, Jona Toll, and Nick Walter, and the oddly introspective feel of the chord progressions, which make it easy to get lost in songs like “Helen.” Elsewhere the pithiness of melodic licks in the vocals and guitars alike make “On paper” and “Body in the basement” addictive. The latter contains the best opening lyric I’ve heard in some time: “There’s a body buried in the basement/ It’s cooler than me.”
Muler is a band born of the '90s, a fact particularly evident in Sean Leahy’s pop-punk drumming, the hyperactive buzz of Jona Chartrand's bass, and Will Veeder's matching guitar on overdrive during “Viper.”
“Get Well” is an album that is likely to resonate with late Gen-Xers, early milennials, and anyone else who feels young and angsty, but is old enough to have some perspective on it. The music’s greatest strength is its catchiness, which pulls you in right away and doesn’t let go until 11 songs later.
Muler plays the record release show for “Get Well” on Friday, March 3 at The Angry Goat Pub, 938 S. Clinton Ave. 8:30 p.m. $10. The Fox Sisters play in support.
UPDATE: This article has been updated to accurately reflect the instruments played by Jona Chartrand and Will Veeder on the album. Additionally, a previous version of the article referenced the song "Say Hello," which was the b-side to the single "Helen," and not on the album "Get Well."
Daniel J. Kushner is CITY’s arts editor. He can be reached at [email protected].