------------ Press


"Mumble and Peg All My Waking Moments in a Jar Vaccination Records CD, 53 minutes I'm not sure I could dislike anything Mumble and Peg put out. I tried to dislike this record, mostly because I thought their previous release (This Ungodly Hour, also on Vaccination Records) was about as perfect a record as you could make, and I was hoping that this new release would sound exactly as the one before it. However, "All My Waking Moments..." did more than grow on me-it got me humming its angry dark melodies during my morning walks, it got me aching to play it on a regular basis instead of listening to all the new music I was supposed to be paying attention to. Frontman Erik Carter manipulates tension beautifully in these creepy, eerie songs about--well, I don't know what they're actually about, but I'm awfully glad they're not about me-set against a complex backdrop of acoustic guitar-and-piano ballads, Bowie-esque riffs and arrangements, metal-era power chords, and the smoky melancholy of good roots music."- Holly Day for Bangsheet, 2001

"Raucous and rancorous, the one feature of Mumble and Peg that truly distinguishes the band is the sophisticated way these guys pronounce the doom of the world. Really, these songs are anything but optimistic. But they sound so cool. What you've got is acoustic pop orchestrated by an array of electronic sounds. A nice counterpoint that does anything but detract from the dismal, desperate anthems themselves. Music for the end of the world. Not as a celebration, but as a recognition of all the crap that has come before. A tapestry describing all the good reasons why humanity should go away once and for all, if you will. That and a whole lot more. Like I said, Mumble and Peg populates its sound with all sorts of things, and each little piece adds to the dark beauty of its surroundings. I know I said something like this when I reviewed This Ungodly Hour, but geez, no one can create a sense of despair like Mumble and Peg. The mood is dank enough, but the dreary poetry of the lyrics just kicks the album into another dimension. I love this." - Aiding & Abetting #211 Vol. X, No. 5 January 29, 2001

"Smart and different. Mumble & Peg is the trio of Matt Lebofsky, Jenya Chernoff, and Eric Carter. These folks have created a rather credible underground buzz...as their inventive and just slightly skewed music is simultaneously fascinating and hypnotic. Unlike most bands that have one sound, these folks have many. While the opening tune ("Resigned") is excellent growler guitar rock, by the time the fourth track ("Third Person") rolls around, the band has become pensive and the music is beautifully subtle. As with most great bands, the main key to success is a convincing vocalist. But while Eric Carter is really adept at the growler/scream thing...he seems just as comfortable crooning softly. This makes for some very interesting listening...for whether things are soft or really loud, the man at the helm is still confident and strong. Another interesting point is that the rhythm section is switched from what you may be accustomed to. Sure, all of us know bands with a female bass player and male drummer....but here we have the reverse. But don't worry...Jenya Chernoff can really kick out some mighty shit on a drum kit. The lady's good...never missing a beat and throwing in a lot of clever rhythm tricks that propel this music straight up and into the sky. Bassist Matt Lebofsky meanwhile lays down thick and solid bass lines that hold the entire picture together tightly. Add it all up...and you have a completely mesmerizing and creative band...doing what many other bands are doing...but they're a HELL of a lot better at it. This is a truly great album that doesn't fit into any specific category. We particularly dig "Handwritten Mail." Wow...lots of GREAT stuff here..." (Rating: 5+ out of 6) - Baby Sue, March 2001

"Mumble & Peg's new album, All My Waking Moments in a Jar, changes moods like a smoked-out, pint-bleary manic-depressive on a pre-dawn caffeine high. As the title suggests, there's a somewhat claustrophobic, pressure-cooker edge to this recording -- the East Bay trio's third for Oaktown label Vaccination Records -- which gives it an ominous feel, as if the band's gonna burst out of its collective skin and shoot up the joint, Columbine style. While the bubbling tension is cool, Mumble & Peg's true power lies in its heroic management -- aka ratchet-tight songwriting -- of chronic Gen-X malaise. (No, this theme didn't vanish with the dot-com boom.) Disgruntled and disgusted, the band forges gnarly, dystopic indie-rawk from cantankerous lyrics, snarling acoustic guitar, and a hard-hitting rhythm section. On All My Waking Moments in a Jar the band blasts through a set of cranky and self-flagellating paeans to twentysomething antipathy. On the opening track, "Resigned," scruffy lead singer Erik Carter sums up the group's sentiment with a yowling cry of "This is pointless!" Then he clarifies the, um, point with a brazen yet piteous chorus: "Fuck all of you!/ Mumble & Peg hates you as much/ As we hate me." It makes you wanna take them home to Ma -- in a tightly sealed jar -- for some good old-fashioned, nonchemical healing." - Sam Prestianni, SF Weekly 02/21/2001

"This was given to me with the words: "They sound Nick Cave-ish." Comparing a band's music to Nick Cave is a dangerous introduction in my book and so you can understand that it was with some hesitation I tossed this silver platter onto my stereo. Well, the sardonic rumble of the album's "Resigned" sound nothing like Nick Cave, thankfully, and everything like a band worth checking out. The music came pouring out of my speakers sounding more like a stripped down Firewater (a little too much swing at times to be Cop Shoot Cop), singer/guitarist Erik Carter's vocals akin to the gruff lamenting of Todd A. (Carter also scores big points for wearing a Barkmarket shirt in the band's promo photo!) His growl works best on the more aggressive numbers, but certainly doesn't detract from songs like "Third Person," where wandering guitar lines intersect with the twang of a lonesome banjo. Interestingly enough, it is the moodier numbers that stand out best here. The distant strum of acoustic alongside the tinker of piano on "Focal Point" draws you in softly until it you suddenly realize what Carter is singing about, at which point it's too late...you're trapped in the web of the music's deceptive poison. "Mirror Face" finds him sounding a bit too much (I hope unintentionally) like Uncle Fester (aka Billy Corgan) for my taste, but the song quickly moves on to the build and tension of "Paddock," whose horns give way under the distorted weight of guitar and the heavy swing of Jenya Chernoff's drumming and Matt Lebofsky's bass lines. All My Waking Moments in a Jar also contains a hidden track. And, as with the song at the end of Radical Noise's Plan-B that's reviewed elsewhere this issue, Mumble and Peg are forgiven for the wait because they give up an amazing version of Nick Drake's "Which Will," from his haunting final album, 1972's Pink Moon. The band have slowed down the original, a sparse yet beautifully shimmering acoustic number, and added a sullen dissonance and aching howl, giving you the feeling that you're suffocating under the weight of your own emotional wrangling. Maybe it's because I'm an avid Drake fan, or maybe it's just that Mumble and Peg have tapped into the spaces between Drake's voice and music to find the unspoken heartache which draws us to him in the first place. In either case, the journey through All My Waking Moments in a Jar was well worth the trip, if just for this one gem." - Craig Young, Earpollution Vol 3 Issue 2, Feb 2001


“Formidable...the sinister silence of the most beautiful poetic despair...concentrated power and careful drama. A cathartic ride.” - Rolling Stone, German edition, May ‘99

“Rarely have I seen a group create such an atmosphere. Respect! 10 out of 12 points!” - Visions, May ‘99

“They joined Nick Drake and Peter Hammill...Dark and warm, never losing its quality and value.” - Intro, May '99

"Every once in a while, and I do mean a while, I get to listen to something that's just so good that even after multiple listenings, I can't stand to have anyone in the room talk while the CD is playing. This is one of those rare recordings; I don't even know how to think or barely breathe when I listen to this, it's just so spine-grabbing/teeth-clenching/head-pounding tense and tight and painful and controlled. It's like the music gets into my head and all I can do is sit and listen and feel myself filling to absolute possession. This is what Nick Cave wishes he could do, backed by a band that he has never had...
There's just no way that something like this could come from any more than one in a million bands. If there were more people releasing or even thinking this kind of music, we (the listening public) would be reduced to just stacks and stacks of writhing, quivering piles of sadness and unrequited want. The streets would be absolutely littered with bodies. Yet, just when you think you can't take it anymore, the next song on the CD manages to either lift your mood just enough to keep you listening, or drag you in so deep you can't stand to shut the music off." - Holly Day for FlowOnline, Sorted Magazine, 1999

"Dark and gloomy stuff, but with acoustic guitars. So instead of getting wildly orchestrated and cranking up the intensity with volume, Mumble and Peg does it by intensifying the lyrics and music itself. And, yeah, the folks do it real well. For the most part, this is guitar, drums, bass. Oh, and singing, of course. The stripped-down band style simply makes these songs glow. Pain, anger, loss and all the roads in-between. It is simply impossible to fully convey the sensory envelopment produced by these three guys. The emotional impact is huge. And there is no way out. Like I noted before, other folks who do this (Nick Cave comes to mind) often ratchet up the ante with excess. Mumble and Peg operates on a whole different level, using imagery and ideas to entrance listeners. There is no let-up from song to song. It is the sound which ultimately makes this disc unforgettable. Oh, the songs are immaculately written, and the lyrics astonishing. But the fact that Mumble and Peg refused to go over the top makes all the difference. One listen is more than enough to snare." - Aiding & Abetting #182 5/17/99


"Sure to raise a few blisters and scar the easily impressionable for life...quite remarkable...imagine Nirvana without the electric grunge, or the late Harry Nilsson on a particularly frustrating and bitter day, and you’ve got some idea of what Mumble and Peg sound like." - Turn Up That Noise (by David D. Duncan)

"Rambling images with one word refrains in some dandy gawd-awful blackened fuzz agar-agar." - Your Flesh

"[the self-titled 7"] is the group's first release, with an album to follow next year. Of the three tracks on the EP, "Broken" and "Wrecked" are Carter originals, while "Hangman" is a cover of the Leadbelly classic made famous by Led Zeppelin as "Gallows Pole". The best material is defintely the 2 originals; of those, "Wrecked" is a fantastic track, which deserves to gain the band a whole new audience and reputation outside of the restrictions of a limited 7" record release. It's basis of soft guitar/hard guitar is by no means original...but Carter's soft-but-edgy vocals and guitars are more successful than a thousand other new bands could ever hope to be. It made me feel very cool for a moment on Saturday morning, to know that I was probably the only person in greater Los Angeles to be playing a purple 7" single. But at the same time, it's a shame. Bands like Mumble and Peg deserve more attention than they may ever get. "Wrecked" doesn't deserve to be held hostage by an elite minority; it's a great song. Then again, if you haven't got a record player - the group still has a deeper, richer sound than any CD player can give - maybe you don't deserve it." - Campus Circle (by Nick Roe)

"Screechy "Black Angel's Death Song" take on the old traditional "Hangman" that just digs itself into the moist, damp, fertile, loam." - Great God Pan

"More bizzareness from San Francisco. A folky/acousticky acid tab of madness. At times reminding me of what I suspect the Swans would sound like if they were a little folk. Acoustic guitar intertwined with electric and drums...very primitive and evil feeling." - Hard Times

"With the 2 originals on this 3 song disc, "Broken" alternates between noise and acoustic guitars. "Wrecked" has acoustic guitars with clenched-teeth delivery of the vocals. The packaging is amazing, but the anger in the music doesn't provide a release. Instead, it frustrates." - Impact Press

"Coal miner music, heavy on the black lung." - Rocktober