Muzzy Pep return with first new album in 14 years

HALCYON DAYS: Muzzy Pep in 2003 when the Maitland lads appeared set to become the Hunter's next break-out band.
HALCYON DAYS: Muzzy Pep in 2003 when the Maitland lads appeared set to become the Hunter's next break-out band.

THERE was a time when Muzzy Pep were so ambitious they would perform at the opening of an envelope. 

“You need a pretty big envelope these days,” bassist Nic Munnings joked.

Someone has obviously found an envelope used to house those big novelty cheques because Muzzy Pep is about to scratch a seven-year itch by performing their first show since 2010.

It won’t be a mere nostalgia show. Muzzy Pep are coming armed with new material. Last Friday the band dropped their first new song since 2003, the fast-paced 88.3% Of Statistics Are Made Up. It will be followed by the album Cyclic.

“It felt like the right time to do this again,” Munnings said. “Even though we’d often go years at a time without doing anything, it doesn’t take long to get the glow back on.”

Muzzy Pep - 88.3% Of Statistics Are Made Up

Back in the early 2000s the Maitland-Newcastle indie rockers were arguably the Hunter’s biggest band and appeared set to go national.

After Scott Blackley and Errol Moyle formed the band in 1997 they won Triple Unearthed a year later for their track One 85.

The albums Moments in Weightlessness (2000) and The Faintest Clue (2003) earned glowing reviews and the single Haven’t Got Time to Spell It Out became an earworm for a legion of Triple J listeners.

So what happened?

“We’re still really proud of that record [The Faintest Clue],” Munnings said. “Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. 

“We just kind of wore out after playing so many shows. After a while when you’ve been driving around the country with the same three guys for a while you start to get sick of each other’s BO.”

Muzzy Pep - Haven't Got Time To Spell It Out

Muzzy Pep came back together in 2007 to play 10-year anniversary shows, before again calling it quits in 2010.

During their sabbaticals, Munnings played with the now-defunct Faker, Moyle (guitar/vocals) and Blackley (vocals/guitar) launched the bands Trade Secrets and Great Dividing Range respectively and last year came together in Forever Since Breakfast. 

Cyclic is proof Muzzy Pep have lost none of their ability to write immediate pop-rock. 

Blackley’s lyrics have also lost none of their cheekiness. That humour is best displayed in Welcome To The Cock Forest, an observation on misogyny.

“Scott likes to stand at the top of the hill and catch a bit of wind in his hand and usually he can write it down,” Munnings said. “I’m sure there’s meaning to Scott’s lyrics, but he pretends there isn’t.

“Whenever the four of us get together there’s always going to be that vibe [humour], because we’ve been doing it for so long.”

Muzzy Pep make their comeback at Maitland’s Grand Junction Hotel on May 26 and 28 and at the Mayfield’s Stag and Hunter Hotel on June 10.