archive: singled out – missive 200 (l)….

missive 200(l)
30-04-2009
Singled Out
Missive 200 (L)

Surrounded in sound….

Okay so we didn’t achieve our projected 200 review target – not for the want of trying though, mind you we did at least manage to rip together some 55,000 plus words. Alas ultimately we failed in part due to the singled out house cat Dylan feeling a tad under the weather, so much so in fact that we were on death watch on Monday evening, since then with the kind assistance of the Blue Cross veterinary practice he now appears on the mend – though don’t tell him that he’s due back there tomorrow for more tests – pure blighters still in shock over all the pin pricks, various fur shaves and the impertinent and inexcusable usage of thermometers about his person.

Anyhow I’m sure your bored with these missives marking the 200th transmission so to speak so I’m wrapping it up – right now with these final three instalments -yippee I hear you all cry – I should bloody coco. All those cd’s that we promised would get a check in that didn’t will get sorted next month which barring the end of the world will start in t minus 90 minutes and counting.

As usual I’m wittering so – records then…..

Maybeshewill ‘Sing the word hope in four part harmony’ (Field).

First came across this Leicester based quartet when they shared the sides of a limited 12 inch platter with Her Name is Calla (see Singled Out Missive #173). Much to our embarrassment we noted at the time that their debut opus ‘not for the want of trying’ had somehow escaped our gaze. Less than twelve months on and ‘sing the word hope in four part harmony’ their second full length arrives and a bitterly sweet beauty it is to that precariously walks in terms of melodic delivery a tight rope between brutal fury born of frustration and hopelessly resigned sighing grace.

Though found piloting a post rock trajectory, Maybeshewill temper and refine their sonic symphonies with a distinctly hardcore mindset, the riffmanship often acutely angular, jig-sawed and grizzled all at once impacts with a precision like torrential, tormented and turbulent cruelty. Yet for all that up front heavy bearing bravado there’s a hitherto tender tapestry being woven in the background, it’s a tenderness crippled with a passionate concern and bedevilled by a tear stained emotion erupting grandeur which amid the frequently drizzled ruptures and ravages of calamitous crescendos there passes moments of exquisitely detailed euphoric eclipses. Its this sculpturing application that gives ‘sing the word hope in four part harmony’ something of an insular like focus, clearly at the core a classicist approach lies, for all the animated aggression there’s an epic knowingness being cultured and cultivated, the twinkling ivories and the cantering braids in turn impart moments of arresting serene lulls whose remit it seems is to numb the listener into a momentary bouts of regretful thought provoked realisation – none more so is this the case than on the pulse racing and majestic ‘accept and embrace‘ – bedded beautifully with the tremblingly tumultuous lull of airily caress tipped Brontean cascade flurries and dispatched with some devilishly scored strut laced prog theatrics this desire tweaked honey provides something all at punishing and purring in design.

Reference wise Maybeshewill owe their wide screen drama laden bloodline to the likes of both Mogwai and San Lorenzo with the addition of trace elements of a late 90’s Constellation back catalogue – most notably godspeed and some 70’s vintage courtesy of Mountain. ’this time last year’ and ’last time this year’ both culled from the aforementioned Her Name is Calla split feature here the former a grizzled heads down no nonsense goliath deceptively peppered by moments of crestfallen and forlornly lip biting melancholy the latter a sky rippling vapour trailing symphony stained and scarred by an apocalyptic black heart and bludgeoned and tamed between moments of white hot ferocity and becalming dreaminess. Elsewhere there’s the scathing pyrotechnics of ‘how to have sex with a ghost’ – a volcanic seizure drilled slab of grizzled boogie weaved from needle picked armaments of stratospheric arpeggios. The introspectively mellowing tonalities of ’our history will be what we make of it’ offers a chance to draw breath and gather yourself together, an epitaph of sorts – gliding electronic swathes navigate a lonesome cosmic void with the additional layering of conscience pricking samples decrying man’s greed their only pilot – in some ways a shameful and apt summation of how meaningless and selfish that the so called civilised sections of the human race have become epitaph. All said it’s the parting title cut which steals the show and brings things perfectly to a close dimpled by a side winding momentum it’s a shyly spun bracing gem of finger wagging beauty which leaves scarcely a dry eye in the house. Leave the CD playing and after a minute or so silence you’ll hear a brief snatch of acoustics no doubt captured by someone no doubt forgetfully found leaving the tape player on.

http://www.field-records.com

Key tracks –

Sing the word hope in four part harmony
Accept and embrace
Our history will be what we make of it.

And here’s a little video of them doing ‘last time this year’

http://www.myspace.com/batcompressor – hailing from Maryland and so far with only one song posting (but what a song) B4tcompr3550r which just to prove our remarkable ignorance in such matters is named or at least part named after some kind of device that no doubt does wonderfully useless things or uselessly wonderful things depending on your viewpoint or indeed none of the above. Anyhow they are a quintet and as said have so far posted just one cut in the shape of ‘imgp8062jpg’ which to us has all the hallmarks of sounding not unlike something that would have been concocted had Ultra Vivid Scene and a youthful Ride bumped into each other and found themselves with a spot of free studio time with which to swap notes and crystalline chords while Kitchens of Distinction looked on, all effects pedal laden blissfulness, kaleidoscopic shape cutting and the kind of dissipating fringe parting shade adorned dream weaving shoe gaze shimmering that you feel prolonged exposure to may well give you hallucinogenic flashbacks. There is promise of more to come…..

http://www.myspace.com/welshcakerecords – think I’m right in saying that we mentioned the newly conceived Welshcakes imprint via missive 199 when we checked out the Bordellos cut ‘I may be reborn’. indeed the label is run by those Bordellos types and is based in the little known Mecca of all things psychedelic – St Helens (kids you are just reading the wrong rock music history books, its all lies I tell you). If not its first release then certainly one of the first things that will appear on Welsh Cakes will be the third full length from the Bordellos which in the current climate of comedic childlike like fiscal budgets and ship sinking financial turmoil is topically titled ‘debt sounds’ a suitably skewiff play no doubt on the Beach Boys immortal ‘pet sounds’ and as was Wilson and Co’s opus awash in the kind of lush tonalities that were a fanfare of those optimistic free spirited and economic growth inspired days so to the Bordellos set mirrors the times-a-changing and is suitably treated with the kind of minimalist lo-fi austerity of a ration book. Including the aforementioned ’I may be reborn’ five specially selected prime slices are gathered from that forthcoming set on this their MS player. As previously noted there’s more than a whiff of Freed Unit’s equally lo-fi laden ’gigglegoo’ set from a few years back – especially on ‘I dream of Jimmy’, that same kind of punched and bent out of shape distant and dusty soft psych application though scratch a little deeper and you’ll find a veritable mixed grill of reference points where the palette touches base to varying degrees with the likes of Eugene Chadbourne and Jad Fair and the Stones whose influence is notable on the wasted and trip wired ’rolf harris’ which unless our ears are seriously deceiving us sounds like its recently awoken from the result of a Woodstock frequented spiked drug induced coma some 40 years on. Can’t wait for the album and I suspect you can’t either.

Speck Mountain ‘Some sweet relief’ (Carrot top). Pull up a pew kick back a spell and let the softly tingled tonalities of Chicago’s Speck Mountain’s bitter sweetly freewheeling and curdled comatose 60’s psyche washes purring from their second full length ’some sweet relief’ course through the grooves to invigorate, heal and for an idle moment wrap you up in a dreamy glaze.

Returning to the fray following last years acclaimed debut set ’summer above’ on the once much loved Carrot Top imprint, well we say once loved, our affection these days has been somewhat from afar given that we’ve rarely heard anything by the label since Archer Prewitt’s most admirable ’White Sky’ set from a fair few years back. We did once consider a strongly worded missive but being lazy it never got off the ‘that’ll show them’ planning stage and anyway be honest – would they have taken notice. Somehow I think not. Instead we satisfied ourselves by the uttering of ill thoughts. Which as you’d probably suspect doesn’t neatly bring us to Speck Mountain of whom we are thinking are above such petulance and nastiness, such is the tempting beauty of this nine track full length we’d be a tad shocked to discover that they’ve ever suffered or uttered a bad thought in their whole lives.

‘some sweet relief’ is gorgeously mellow and laid back in fact so laid back its almost horizontal and in peril of finding itself tumbling backwards arse over tit, pitched in a framing of crystalline textures delicate carved with a sparse spectral touch, the core founding members of Speck Mountain – Briedrick and Balabanian refer to their sound as ’ambient soul’ which once heard and experienced seems as good as any description and sure to out do and make laughable any thought clever and convenient generic umbrella that both you and me could ever dare to muster up.

What makes ’some sweet relief’ such a listening treat is that the sounds enveloping you rather more shimmer, glide and hover, restrained of their momentum and almost inert they appear like snake winding drift winds devoid of any recognisable cut or thrust or for that matter propulsion, their subtle Velveteen braids lushly coaxed in the delicate whispers of purred 60’s dialects appear shyly retiring though none the less like ghostly siren-esque advances, it’s a quality both arresting and yet something that you fear will ultimately provide its downfall given its so quietly entrancing and fragile in a world so marked for its jostling and busyness.

All at once haunting, measured and elegant, ’some sweet relief’ finds itself a kindred spirit in Mazzy Star (check out the opening ‘shame on the soul’ or better still on the country torched blues of ‘twin lines‘) and to a lesser extent Cheval Sombre whose equally intoxicating and lazy eyed debut full length ’Julie’ has been sumptuously sparring in the affection stakes. With the lights turned to dim these honey tipped treasures glow with a dulled passionate radiance Briedrick’s slender riff interplays at times sounding almost Will Sergeant-esque in their spectral simplicity the case in point best viewed on the lulling kaleidoscopically tweaked ‘I feel eternal’that aside sounding not unlike a distant cousin to Verve’s ’one way to go’ is peppered tastily by some soulfully smoked brass braids. Elsewhere there’s the tenderly opining parched spiritual blues of the title track to contend with while both ’backslider’ and ’backsliding’ – perhaps the sets centrepiece – is a twinkled twin set, the former a dreamily orbiting cortege of mellowing cosmic cuteness whose obvious reference marker is the more tranquilised moments to be found on Stereolab’s ’cobra and phases’ the latter shyly emerging from the former to find itself sumptuously drilled with a seductively hypnotic soft burnt love-noted caress. Mind you despite all that we must admit being rather partially attracted to the parting ‘Sister Water’ – an exquisitely dimpled babe adorned with the glimmering spectre of Velvet Underground overtures and bathed in a becoming fragile hymnal grace that’s sensitively awash in all manner of lulling braids of softly pulsing lysergic chimes and reverbs. Does it for us.
http://www.carrottoprecords.com
Key tracks –
Backslider / backsliding
Sister water
Shame on the soul

Bronnt Industries Kapital
Hard for Justice
Get Physical

There’s always been that suspicious air of a muzzled admiration for both Goblin and John Carpenter hiding quietly amid the grooves of his previous brace of full lengths for Static Caravan – ‘virtute et industrie’ and the recent ‘haxan’ – well hidden but all the same irrefutably and undeniably present, it lent itself perfectly to Bartel’s (for it is he who is Bronnt Industry Kapital) chamber like ambience. Inspired by a sense of wide screen cinematic aspects and displaying a distinct fondness for a retro stylising seemingly rooted in the 70’s, his craft has retained a strangely majestic tonality – dark agreed though peppered by both a sense of the macabre and mercurial while simultaneously unafraid of exploring aural pathways extending into both progressive and minimalist electronics.

Maintaining the same exquisitely focused retro glazed calibre as previously ‘hard for justice’ finds Bartel – shall we say – a little playful and in considerably lighter moods. Aided and abetted this time by fellow Bristol based musicians Nick Talbot of Gravenhurst fame for three co-written tracks and Anton Maiof (for one – Mr Maiof has previously worked with the likes of Rose Kemp and the insanely brilliant Steveless). This 8 track set sees him making a brief detour from Static Caravan to jump ship to local electronic imprint Get Physical – erstwhile home of Audiofly X, Booka Shade and Emmanuel for what can only be described as a cosmic cruising odyssey.

Aside the aforementioned reference markers – Goblin and John Carpenter – Bartel and Co take flight to explore galactic terrains previously traversed by the likes of Georgio Moroder, La Dusseldorf, Add N to X, Space, Fly, Mount Vernon Arts Lab, Fortdax and Broadcast (the latter two more than making themselves feel at home on the strangely sassy and subtle intones of the Lalo Schifrin styled off set funk brew ’streets of fury’ – one for you martial arts and blaxploitation connoisseurs I shouldn’t wonder).

Emitting a familiar aural vocabulary sourced from the 70’s decoded and deeply informed by the soundtracks of the day – Romero’s Zombie flicks and Carpenter’s ’Assault on precinct 13’ (especially on ‘an index of corporate art’) et al and with a hint of a space age childhood refracted through the sonic traffic of a futuristic world to come (BBC Radiophonic Workshop medleys and such like (look no further than the dream weaving ice dripped and bitterly sweet mirages weaved by the orbiting ‘threnody for the victims of Lucio Fulci‘), ’hard for justice’ flows and purrs like some long lost score for a forgotten cult albeit kitsch classic, lunar mirror balls and twinkling kraut rock inspired lullabies decorate the star gazed listening space skies.

Cuts such as ‘knights of Vipco’ once free of their Goblin-esque moorings pilot a Moroder grooved Euro disko voyage that neatly surveys and crystallises perfectly the whole sphere of Stereolab influence neatly surveying and distilling their navigational trajectory from ‘dots and loops’ to ‘sound dust’. while elsewhere those with a fondness for both French space rockers as were Tank and the much missed Midlands based combo L’Augmentation will do well to locate and adore ’european male’ a gorgeously sleekly sheened tropicalia of fringe parting kraut grinded mellowness succulently invested by some slyly worked psychotropic brass arrangements. Those of you admiring forlorn ice cream van sounds and celestial Wurlitzer’s ought to make a bee line for the tear stained ‘unbelievable computer of love’. However as far as things go with us best moment by some light year is ‘objects and purpose’ – a huge hyper driving beauty that unless we are very much mistaken sounds not unlike a summit meeting between Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis organised and chaired by Joe Meek. Classy. http://www.physical-music.com
Key tracks – Objects and purpose, Knights of vipco, Streets of fury.

Blimey don’t these episodes fly out fast – no sooner do we finish extolling the virtues of racking up your cool credits by way of the last batch of ear lobe humping pod cast posts from http://www.garagepunk.com then along come five more shots of shows packed to bursting with sounds from under the record counter. This latest wave of twisted and twisting jack-knifed jiving ju-ju goo features the debut posting from Miss Snow who from the confines of her Tokyo located record booth delivers up the hip shimmying barnet spiking Mushi Mushi, again featuring a whole host of grinding grizzled groove from bands we’ve never heard of along with a few old favourites here notably Mad 3 and the 5678’s, some killer cuties to be found here not least the Nervous Wrecks whose ’munsters void’ is a blistering slab of bad assed fun shoehorned with twangs and fried sax aplenty and the frankly cool as f**k Drexels who appear to do a neat line in wig flipped beat pop kind of Gene Vincent meets the Trashmen if you’re looking for reference markers. Another band who we seem to have missed out on where all girl combo Lulu’s Marbles who were by all accounts the scourge of record racks in the 90’s releasing several wild as f**k garage grating full lengths for the Sexcite imprint – sadly lead vocalist / guitarist Akko died in ’99 (nb – the excellent http://www.rockofjapan.com resource). Those of you missing your staple diet of Rubettes and Showaddywaddy may well do yourselves a favour in checking the hopelessly punch drunk and rowdy ’big fat Saturday night’ by Youru no Strangers – demented while just on name alone the fly and his one man garbage (very Cramps don’t you think) should have you chomping at the bit mind you the added bonus is that ‘devil inside blues’ sounds very much like the coffin dragged dragster blues much loved by the likes of Muleskinner Jones, Ministry and RL Burnside.

Next up the second show from the London based Ixnayray hosted Way Past Cool who you may well recall near blew or lid clean off with his debut airing a few weeks back and had us a scrambling frantically amid the record racks of flea pit thrift stores trying to nail the play listed babies as our own. Buckle yourselves up for another rollicking and rampant 60 minute hotwired open topped ride on the sassily sleazy and corrupting wrong side of garage lands forbidden tracks. Among the treats being cranked out on the gaffa taped monophonic record deck you’ll hear lost pearls from the likes of the Apemen, the Necessary Evils, the criminally overlooked rockabilly pioneer Johnny Burnette and Jon Spencer while elsewhere there’s some dandy primitive growl from the likes of Bloodshot Bill whose MS page at http://www.myspace.com/bloodshotbill we strongly advise you check out without undue delay. A rummage through the vintage vaults turns up the exquisitely precocious and kookily effervescent sherbet dipped ’egyptian shumba’ which apparently was one of only three releases by 60’s star Lou Christie’s former backing band the Tammys while those of you who love your tuneage to sound like it was recorded in a toilet by a tone deaf engineer will dig the frazzled creep fest of the Blow tops ’mister macabre’ – think the Mummies kicking chunks out of a Bryan Gregory era Cramps. Add in some Screaming Lord Sutch, the Masons and the Los Peyotes and you have yourselves a whole lot of one stop party pack humping top tapping tastiness.

More garage punk stuff in the next missive….

http://www.myspace.com/apartmentjp – another Japanese musician whose site we spied while rummaging around on my space, indeed admittedly we were drawn to the cute and sunny pastel ilustrations hinting perhaps the potential within would be equally matched and disappointed we weren’t. Apartment appears to be the alter ego of Tatsuya Namal and various friends (the illustrations incidentally by ‘larkin’) – to date they’ve committed three full length to the presses the latest being last years ‘sparkle bicycle’ whose title alone should give you a fair idea what to expect – and if what your thinking is sunny side up day-glo popsicles then award yourself a gold star and bragging rights for the rest of the evening because it seems Apartment have a hankering to western pop or to be more specific West coast pop albeit that’ll be west coast pop will a generous helping of affection in the general direction of George Harrison – well that at least appears to be the case on the ‘Revolver’-esque shades and 60‘s shimmers adorned ‘brown’. but then scratch a little deeper and there’s a definite sense of crookedly sparse mischief at work especially on new song ’fly’ which as breezy and wonky as it is certainly shares an affinity sound wise with the outer fringes of the Elephant 6 collective most notably imprints such as Happy Happy Birthday to Me. Elsewhere there’s some neatly skewed psyche via ’fixty age’ which at times had us fondly reaching for the Freed Units ’gigglegoo’ in order to check out its more ‘mummer’ era XTC footings. Sadly we can’t get new song ’cat’ to play or for that matter ’winter wolf’ though we must admit to being mildly smitten by the dinky and dizzy breezy lilt of ’sleeping bird’ not withstanding the small detail that it sounds as though its fell off the groove edges to the Summer Hymns debut set. We need to hear more I suspect.

http://www.myspace.com/magicbookrecords – I wish I had a Japanese pen pal who could dispatch record parcels jam packed with all manner of weird and wonderful offerings from Japanese imprints then hopefully we get to hold, stare and play to our hearts content the kind of stuff that Magic Books put out. Sadly we can’t give you to much information about the label as both their my space page and official web site is in Japanese however from what little info we can deduce (aside the fact that on their roster appears a certain Sonic Brat who we mentioned in passing a missive or so ago) they cater for all manner of things from electronics to ambience and no doubt all things in between. What we can say for certain though is that the sounds emanating from their my space player are indeed things of enchantment – from the sleepy headed woodland folk apparitions of the mellowing and bitter sweet lonesome ache of Chihei Hatakeyama’s ‘illution’ with its caressing cortege of love noted string arrangements and frosted landscapes to the demurring shy eyed igloo pop of Yuki Kaneko whose most desirable ’rm’ sounds not unlike a very youthful Mum dimpled as it is in bubble wrapped snow tipped clock work chimes, while TSAN named loosely perhaps after a certain ISAN do a neat line in trippy schizoid groove with ‘digitalized’ featured here, a robotically enhanced slab of grizzled future grind equipped with all manner of mutant house dialects and flipped with some seriously distractive hip wiggling moves and we suspect at a passing guess much in awe of Herbie Hancock’s ’rock it’ and Cornelius. We suggest though that you immediately check out 藤田建次/果て – blimey I hope that copied and pasted okay – anyway it’s the third track on the player – a beautifully reclining slice of hazy and dreamy west coast flavoured psyche folk which lovers of Damon and Naomi should go a bundle on.

http://www.myspace.com/kenjifujita – another Japanese musician and again someone else currently residing on the Magic Books roster, Kenji Fujita does a more than idyllic line in dreamy laid back electro pop as the collage of his 2008 set ‘magnetic pilgrimage’ featured here on the showcasing MS player reveals, that said its ‘果て’ that should be attracting your due care and attention a sparsely toned slice of creaking lo-fi loveliness drilled with a rather fetching glassy eyed soft psych radiance that could easily pass for a stripped bare and dream weaving Damon and Naomi in reclining moods, okay the production is a little lacking sounding at times a tad warped but we here are thinking it adds to the overall sleepy headed charm.

http://www.myspace.com/kanekoyuki – mentioned in these very pages a little while back when we cast a fond eye over the wares of Magic Book records wherein indeed we found ourselves much smitten by a cut entitled ‘rm’ by none other than Yuki Kaneko who crafts these demurring shy eyed frost bound suites from an array of mediums ranging from cassette loops, toys, PC and found sounds – the sounds are fragile and frail, twinkling lullabies sculptured from ice as were, perfect for those who love their ambi-folk motifs dimpled daintily by thawing chime corteges and snoozing refrains – we suggest you hook up to the ornamental Oriental serene like reverence of the glassy peek a boo styled ‘rub’ and proceed therein to be lovingly lulled.

http://www.myspace.com/vapourtrail – with a name like Vapour Trail we were as you can probably imagine half expecting to hear slabs of sky rocketing stratosphere piercing shoe gaze groove. So you can imagine how foolish we felt sitting there decked out in our smartest looking Colonel Steve Zodiac threads and cosmic helmet waiting for blast off. Man did we feel an arse though not in the literal or indeed biblical sense. Instead emanating from our speakers was something most unexpected and frankly quite affectionately lovable. Vapour trail hails from Japan above and beyond that the trail runs cold though we are assuming it’s a one man operation. Four tracks feature on the MS showcase player of which despite relentless persuasion with the trusted spanner and hammer sadly only two (‘moose’ and ‘thorn’) have deemed worthy to come out to play. Still two’s better than none though not as good as four and anyhow if it had been none then we’d have nothing to ramble on about. Its all woozily light headed stuff best enjoyed one suspects blissing out by sitting in the shade of an overhanging tree and lazily observing the world rush by while you take a spell to unwind and chill out. Vapour Trail concoct decidedly dinky folk-tronic charms that sweetly flirt, serenade and quietly seduce as the swirl and whirl around your headspace occupying the voids with pastoral cascades of lulling sun basked fairy dusk ’thorn’ edges it in terms of affection stakes though there’s an undisputed fuzzy felt warmth attaching to the glitch bitter sweetness of the restless ’moose’ of which fans of old school Minotaur Shock may well find deeply attractive.

Loren Connors
The curse of midnight Mary
Family Vineyard

The legend as retold is that those caught by the grave of Mary E Hart after midnight suffer the fate of death next day. And so the curse of Midnight Mary and her final resting place at the Evergreen Cemetery has become intrinsically linked within the cultural fabric of New Haven, Connecticut. The result as the legend goes of an accidental premature burial.

In 1981 Loren Connors undertook a pilgrimage to Mary’s resting place and armed with a tape recorder and a guitar he chanced his hand with the curse and made cassette recordings of his evening alone at the graveside of Mary. An extensive period of recordings followed that saw him pairing up with Kath Bloom and Tom Hanford these coming hot on the heels of the completion of his exhaustive 8 volume ‘unaccompanied acoustic guitar improvisations’ collection. It was during this phase that the ‘Midnight Mary’ recordings where subsequently forgotten and left to gather dust only to be unearthed recently some three decades after their initial capture.

The nine tracks that make up ‘the curse of Midnight Mary’ may well sound threadbare but its their sparse, simplistic structure and overall detached minimalism that echoes directly back to the great blues pioneers of the 20’s and helps draw upon the essence of past masters such as Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson and most identifiably Skip James. For long standing admirers of Connors work its an insightful artefact finding the great man near the beginning of his personalised journey with the guitar, its raw, natural, pure and above all archaic in detail, his adept understanding of the intricacies and spirit of the primitive delta folk blues craft is all to apparent amid these lonesome grainy porch lit grooves wherein lies a curiously deep spiritual resonance.

Partly haunting and eerie, these nine improvisations creak solemnly capturing perfectly a hanged dog demeanour, Connors application of the blues delivered both with arid atmospherics and abstract handling all the time accompanied throughout by his plaintive moans inscribing as were an elegy to the spirit of Mary Hart. Perhaps if there is any complaint to be had its just that one suspects that this release is aimed at the blues and Connors purest, for those encountering Connors for the first time it can prove to be a hard going and deeply daunting spectacle.

That said there are gems ripe for the picking here, the fog bound shanty blues of ‘chant 6’ momentarily finds itself breaking cover to be lifted from the impenetrable remoteness that subdues the set at large, hell we even had to have a double take or two when we thought we heard the dislocated drifts of Wings’ ‘mull of Kintyre’ only for repeat listens to reveal it was in fact ‘Amazing Grace’ which depending on your viewpoint and how good a lawyer you have on your side amounts to the same thing. Elsewhere those among you preferring your reference markers a little more current may do well to check out both ‘Chant 7’ and ‘Chant 9’ – the former somewhat straying vaguely into the abstracted territories of a certain pre T-Rex Marc Bolan with the latter especially proving to be a must hear experience with its opining riffmanship and hiccupping and whooping mumbles which to these ears sounds not like a nifty slice of bent and bruised boogie which on first reaction has you recalling a youthful Muddy Waters though through repeat plays reveals something closer to the defining spirit of Captain Beefheart.

http://www.family-vineyard.com

Key tracks –

Chant 6
Chant 9

Further reading about the legend of Midnight Mary can be found by redirecting your PC screen towards http://www.curbstone.org/index.cfm?webpage=106

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