On the Iranian flank of social media, a name has been slowly emerging on our timelines. It’s a voice from the underground, making its way above the surface. What warrants the attention they are gaining, however, has little to do with the fact that they are a musical group from Iran. It’s simply because this band, The Muckers, is making genuinely compelling music worthy of merit and attention.
The band, founded by guitarist Emir in 2011, is fairly young, and clearly influenced by a wide array of contemporary influences ranging from punk to garage rock to indie music. Their style boasts of youth and modernity, and their music finally hints at the emergence of the long-simmering artistic zeitgeist of the new Iranian youth.
It’s invigorating to hear a group perform with this amount of vitality in a place in such dire need of it. One facet that a generation as educated, as well-informed, and as talented as the current Iranian youth is in grave need of is the precise element that The Muckers are putting on view without even a thought: movement. We are not talking about any kind of political “movement” here, but physical movement brought about by impassioned strains and melodies – dancing, head banging, or even the sedate swaying of a body. Art that motivates bodies to move and individuals to share joint, ritualized experiences in dance lay at the heart of forming widespread, collective catharsis. It is liberating, just as it is enlivening.
As significant as the influences of previous underground bands such as Hypernova and the Yellow Dogs were (and are), their effectuality gradually waned with their departures from Iran. Though they left for bigger dreams, their status as an “Iranian rock band” held them back in the vast, international sea of musical acts. What is refreshing about The Muckers is that this is an Iranian band in Iran, making music, putting on shows both underground and aboveground, and steadily garnering a fan-base that could at some point catapult them to the mainstream of everyday Iranian culture, in turn enabling their music to be at its most effective.
With all luck, this won’t be the last we’ll hear of The Muckers, or the generation of fervent musical groups they will hopefully inspire. Though they have released songs in the past and were even slated to perform at SXSW last March, this might be the first spark of a musical movement making its way toward the surface, a movement accompanied with twists, sways, and vibrant shouts. Appropriately, the track is titled Guns.
Listen to it below.
And just to prove that Guns isn’t the only Muckers track fuelled with vigor, here is Analogy Between Heart And Pump, with video treatment and all, from last year.