MUSK is the new flesh, or at least what’s secreted from the glands located under the skin. Frontman Rob Fletcher is the last guy in the world you’d think had pheromones; they might work on him, but his voice is definitely in the “let’s get the fuck away from this guy” category, with his undeniable ability to growl, spit, shriek and wretch while the band attacks. Drummer Brendan Leonard is a total canbasher, and bass-player John Laux is sublime. He’s not even there at times, but he is, like the whispers of forced air you heard when you were listening to Tical on wet that one time. Like, is that really there? It feels like it’s been there forever. The weird thing about MUSK is that on top of all this malign beauty—what sounds like the six movies John Saxon made in Italy that nobody except the biggest creeps in the world know about, or Beefheartian blues lurch juxtaposed against that lost ’80s pigfuck clangor—guitarist Chris Owen bleeds reverb everywhere, as if his amp had a heart to be stabbed, but it’s just a cone about to rupture. His leads give off a sick, dusty twang, pained as if in their death throes (which is saying something, because the guy looks like the dad from The Family Circus). Each dying twitch and every belligerent throb was captured by engineer Chris Woodhouse (Oh Sees, Fuzz, Ty Segall, Intelligence). Whether working the muggy Southern Gothic angle or treading knee-deep in NYC’s pungent sewers, all routes on Musk lead to a cold, shuddering finality. Long live the new flesh!