Master of None released his five5 track EP Great White Shark on January 1st 2019 on All Will Be Well Records. The pulsing beats will drop you into the new year tinged with mystery and obscurity. Ian Mitchell (Master of None) takes his listeners on a unique journey into the dark through heavy guitars, raw drums and a touch of synth-pop. Throughout the EP, Ian’s baritone vocals tell tales of murder, guilt, loss and raw, visceral hatred. The only respite is found in ‘Open Loop’, which offers an interlude of shade – not showing too much light around the rest of the dark tracks.
Taking experience from his previous self-titled album, Ian has written, performed and produced this EP solely himself. His development as a solo artist is evident through this more cohesive body of work; it can be said that Ian has finally “found his feet” with a sound that he is looking forward to performing live throughout the new year and beyond. Not only a representation of his own musicianship, Great White Shark showcases Ian’s love for artists Joy Division and Mark Lanegan. Their influence is present through style and sound.
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Listening to the EP as a whole, it is impossible not to be hypnotised by ‘Tsunami’, getting pulled lower until you’re trapped by the lyrics “you can’t run” and “you can’t hide” – you have to keep listening. However, this particular track doesn’t feel dark when coupled with the melodic beat. Any listener will find themselves tapping and head bopping – even if you don’t realise. The abrupt ending of this track snaps you out of your trance and you’re left wondering whether it was really that short. However, if the ending didn’t snap you out of it, then the intro to the next track ‘Wolf and Ram’ certainly will. You will want to be fully alert for the guitar solo!
There is an electronic flow that builds through each track however this progression is particularly evident in ‘Head Down’. The opening sounds almost stripped backed, compared to the weight of the other tracks on the EP. However, you are soon reassured with the familiar beat of raw drums. Although the lyrics suggest danger of being caught, there is no sense of rush or panic. It’s as if Ian is reassuring and offering advice to his listeners -“we’ll be okay” – speaking from experience.
Fuelled by his solo career and fellow band members, Little Red, of which Ian is a band member, will be releasing their third studio album in 2020. His time as a solo artist is fitting to the advice that he gives to any aspiring musician: “Do what makes you happy. Work hard and persevere.”
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