On D.Y.I., Muuy Biien’s second full-length, the band harnesses all the energy, bile, spite and brilliance of its debut to create a record that is more controlled and more sonically varied but every bit as immediate. The result is staggering.
The album is fast and loud, but repeated listens reveal it to be remarkably restrained in its construction—almost sparse, at times. The essentials are in the drums and bass—the guitars only come in when they need to, like the ghostly notes on the verse of “What Isn’t,” stumbling unevenly down the scale, orphaned, mournful. The ambient material, scattered on alternating tracks on the first record, is better integrated here, in the three tracks of the “Cyclothymia” series, which are placed smartly at the beginning, middle and end.
Beneath all the menace in frontman Josh Evans’ delivery there is a disarming honesty. When it comes to Evans’ lyrics, it’s hard to pick out single lines to quote; they tend to blitz by at first, part of the band’s overall assault, only to pop up later in vulnerable moments. Hungover one morning after making a fool of yourself the night before, you might look in the mirror and think of the title track: “Be a man/ Do yourself in.” Your kid sister will get a tattoo that reads, “She bursts like a landscape.” And, within a year, you’ll probably have one, too. 5 out of 5.
Muuy Biien plays The World Famous on Friday, Apr. 18.