The Mission - God Is A Bullet

How often, when contemplating the unlikelihood of a new band surviving through the vagaries and turmoil of modern music’s rough and tough seas. Do you provide a sprig of hope for the hopefuls, by reference to the fact that The Mission does it time and again? Just like the bulk of the material that has permeated their 21 year career, ‘God Is A Bullet’ encapsulates all of the cathartic jamming, life’s underbelly revering lyrics and the dragging, laboured and evergreen cry of Wayne Hussey.

Luridness, eerie ambience and hollow vocals are all on proud display in the instrumentally aching and grunge driven ‘Still Deep Waters’. Empathy oozes out of this stark foray into the human soul. Thus demonstrating, The Mission’s oblique depth has even been added to by another level.  Early on, it’s easy to tell, especially, when the stridently resounding guitars and percussion opens out for ‘Keep It In The Family’. That Hussey and his long-time cohort, Craig Adams are holding up a glass of musical champagne in acknowledgement of their decision to leave The Sisters Of Mercy all that time ago.

The slightly off-kilter and thoughtful accompaniments continue to grow in impact to continue the quaint vibe implanting that has been a theme of albums’ past. Hussey’s
demonstrative vocals raise the profile for the bemused and philosophical foray, ‘Very Same Hands’. Even when you’re an outfit who has seen nearly everything, there are still things beyond your comprehension;

“ I don’t understand what drives a man, to love and kill
  with the very same hands.”

This album has been recorded between the locations of Bath and Brazil (in Hussey’s own Green Room Studio). It also flits between two worlds, at times there is searching instrumental escapism and, at others, the almost epiphany enhancing lyrics take centre stage. This is best drawn out through ‘Acquarius & Gemini’.

The instrumental foraging is consistent throughout, with a love of jamming and the controlled, cathartic nature attached to it, shining through. It is testified to via ‘Chinese Burn’ and through a The Fridge and Blind Melon serenading Mogwai, slow-builder ‘Hdshrinerea’.

An attention to song-building detail is shown with pride and precision, as you get the impression that Hussey, especially, is taking time to enjoy the finer things in music. The numerous line-up changes that have occurred over the years have often rendered each album like a debut from a new band, rather than being a continuation of a quest. In contrast to something you would probably expect from a band of this vintage.

By utilising several special guests (inclusive of Simon Hinkler, original guitarist with The Mission), it allows the band to search again for the expansiveness and chemistry that bound together much of their early material. ‘Draped In Red’ embodies these qualities and wears them with a self-confident swagger;

 “Throughout our darkest hour we emerged victorious, cos we kept singing.”

This is immediately followed by the slow, paranoia streak of ‘Running With Scissors’, representing their lash-out at the gore-seeking media. Hussey is definitely not just singing for singing’s sake. On the whole, ‘God Is A Bullet’, draws out the fact that The Mission, more than ever, still has a purpose and a point, well several to be precise.

David Adair

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