Mystic Priestess / Part Time Punk Sessions – striking deathrock from Californian anarcho-punks

In this day and age when music is so easily accessible, it can often be hard to find musicians who truly play by their own rules. There will be bands that push boundaries and some who go so left field they become totally removed from the original sound they were reaching for. To get that mix of breaking outside of the box, but still producing something an audience can latch onto is a delicate balancing act. For Mystic Priestess this is something they have always strived for in their music; to produce something that is uniquely them but still accessible to a wider audience.

On the bands latest offering Part Time Punks Sessions it seems they have managed to strike that balance in a way which showcases the quintet’s strengths yet still appearing vulnerable on the surface. With the constant whirring distorted guitar acting as a backdrop to the band, it gives space for vocalist Sierra Rose to really accentuate what message they are trying to convey through the music. The band really put all their eggs in one basket with the five and a half minute ‘Eternal Resurrection’ where the haunting sound of the synth almost acts as a metronome as Rose’s yelping vocals break up the melody in a very unusual and compelling way. However, it’s on ‘Where Were You’ where all of Mystic Priestess’ oddness really comes to the forefront as once again the odd synth beat puts everything else off kilter, yet somehow the five-piece manage to pull everything together and create a well structured, yet not overly polished song.

Of the EP’s six tracks, it’s closing number ‘No Tomorrow, Only Today’ which stands out as Mystic Priestess’ calling card. Rose’s lyrics shine, while the music surrounding her is both uneasy and energetic, giving the band a real murky feel to what they are doing. When you come across a band that plays by their own rules it can sometimes be an uncomfortable experience, but for Mystic Priestess, what they have created is something that is uncompromising yet also accessible, creating a sound of bleakness with a disco beat.      

Part Time Punk Sessions is out now and can be purchased here.

Words: Tim Birkbeck

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