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A collection of mostly four-track recordings made from '94 to '96, Mustard's self-released Mostaza, although sometimes unfocused, shows frequent flashes of potential. The first few tracks display the lo-fi charm of Lou Barlow's various projects, albeit with a garagey organ sound in place of the guitar noise, and a strong melodic sensibility. Several instrumentals tend to derail the momentum over the course of the album, and a few numbers have a loping ska beat which seems to come out of nowhere after the initial burst of sweet, folky pop, but songs like "GP," an elegiac, country-tinged tribute to Gram Parsons, are worth sifting for. On the basis of Mostaza, Mustard certainly has the potential for further development.

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