The first moments of Mumble & Peg’s All My Waking Moments in a Jar declares “This is pointless” and “Mumble & Peg hates you” on the opening “Resigned”. While it’s obvious that this song is meant to be humorous, these off-putting comments are certainly a strange way to begin an album. Mumble & Peg doesn’t need to care what you think, though. They’re making music for themselves.
With a dark vibe that blends folk, rock, and even a bit of trip-hop influences, Mumble & Peg’s moody music is all-encompassing in both its beauty and its heaviness. Led by the emotional, classic-rock voice of guitarist Eric Carter, the passion that penetrates All My Waking Moments in a Jar is constantly apparent and almost intimidating. Carter’s voice is complimented by the sensitive playing of bassist/keyboardist Matt Lebofsky and the intuitive percussion work of Jenya Chernoff. These three musicians work together as an impressively cohesive unit, all sharing the same vision of what their music should be.
Focusing on the sorrows of every day, Mumble & Peg manage to make lines like “I pick up your lighter and bum and cigarette, all without asking” from the dejected “Third Person” sound heartbreaking while the seething anger of “Practitioner” is communicated through lyrics like “I keep pointing at myself with all my former fingers.” Even when their lyrics tend to be obscure, a gloomy joy can be taken in listening to how this band puts meaning behind these strings of words.
While Mumble & Peg never lifts All My Waking Moments in a Jar out of the shadows even in its more upbeat moments, like the piano-based “Nine”, there is nothing oppressive about these songs. There is a certain sort of enlightenment and understanding in the way they construct their songs, from the music to lyrics, that balances out the darker elements, allowing them to express what they want without ever falling into pretension with these emotions.
You shouldn’t believe them when they tell you this is pointless. All My Waking Moments in a Jar is far from pointless, and even though Mumble & Peg say they hate you in the first song, you shouldn’t care. You’ll like them, and that is enough.