by Mike Huberty
March 2005

Madison's MUST - Men Under Sexual Tension on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2005

Madison's MUST - Men Under Sexual Tension on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2005

With Hendrix style lead guitars fueled by tongue-in-cheek boozy vocals that range from lilting to Gwar-esque, Madison rockers, MUST (Men Under Sexual Tension) are, in the words of their bassist, Matt Mueller, “moving to the next stage of the game.” Mueller, formerly of funk-rockers, Fungusamungus, is also owner of the fashionable Madison nightclub, The Cardinal Bar, home of the ever-popular and infamous Fetish Night. He speaks with a certifiable gusto for both the art and business side of music that’s rare in a band member. “We’re doing it to get our art, insights, and mission to the masses. We’re almost like mediums, channels for a higher purpose, not just a bunch of guys onstage to get laid.”

Musically, their individual tastes are all over the map. Drummer Lars and Cory, their lead singer and “rhythm bass player” (a unique position in rock music), is into death metal, guitarist Herb digs The Grateful Dead, and Mueller is into classic rock. They’ve recently added singer/rhymer/rapper Cloud and CJ, a female keyboardist/vocalist and just finished a recording with them at Minnesota’s famous Pachyderm Studios (In Utero, Grave Dancers’ Union, Throwing Copper). Mueller says they “purposefully cross genres,” and the combination yields a strong sense of melody. That tunefulness pervades the half-time/double-time feel in tracks like the trippy “Kitty,” a tune featuring repeated, yet ambiguous, references to Saddam Hussein. There are definite nods to bands like Butthole Surfers, especially in the strangely catchy track, “Drip.” Goofy, but with an ear for a hook, MUST is like the high school joke bands that wrote better songs than their serious artist peers.

Mueller goes on to describe their mission as one that is “Empowering people to live the life they choose, to accept the reasons of who and why we are. We want to affect the people in the Midwest, fill the void where anything and everything is possible.” With that positive core and fervor for rock n’ roll, MUST will be performing at Maximum Ink’s Bomblastica 2005 on Friday, March 18th at McAuliffe’s Pub in Racine, Wisconsin with Last Crack, Decapitado and Carbellion, and on Saturday, March 19th at the Annex with Mudride, Sunspot and Spiritus.

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