Published November 24, 2008
If most of this decade has seen indie rock captured by the Brits, then 2008 is the year that American bands have seized it back. From Black Kids and Boy Crisis all the way to MGMT, the United States -finally boasts many of the world’s best new groups. The latest addition is the provocatively named San Diego four-piece the Muslims, whose members clearly don’t practice Islam and aren’t-they swear-out to make a sociopolitical point (“It’s just a catchy name,” says singer Matt Lamkin). While they initially formed two years ago, the current lineup (co-founder Matty McLoughlin plays guitar; David Lantzman, bass; and Brian Hill, drums) coalesced only this year. The Muslims draw from seminal acts such as Can, Iggy Pop, and the Modern Lovers, as well as from the contemporary British band Art Brut, for a stripped-down sincerity. There’s an arty, playful side to the Muslims, too, which they demonstrate in the self-made video for their song “Extinction,” where former film student Lamkin strikes poses amid windy African grasses. Unsigned as of yet, the group recently re-pressed another 750 copies of their sold-out, untitled 12-inch EP, complete with bullet holes shot into its sleeve by a former cop. Next on the list is an upcoming British tour, where, no doubt, 288 virgins will be waiting for them.