Welcome to my blog!

UPDATE: Mediafire have suspended my account and locked my downloads. Having endured the tedium of re-uploading everything I had previously hosted on Mega Upload onto Mediafire earlier this year, I can't be arsed re-uploading everything again.

So please don't ask for things to be reuploaded!

I undertake this venture knowing that I don't have the spare time to do it, but feel that these artists NEED TO BE HEARD (please excuse my shouting!). Or is that I think I need to be heard? Or that there are (or have been) some great music blogs that have inspired me to wanna jump on the bandwagon? Probably all of the above??I hope you enjoy the blog. If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mercury Rev - See you on the other side

Deserter's Songs is quite rightly seen as Mercury Rev's masterpiece, and would easily rank in my top 10 albums of all time - not that I'm quite obsessive enough to have sat down and written that list! Just look at the track list: Holes, Opus 40, Goddess on a Hiway, Funny Bird - motherfucking classics all!

But the groundwork for Deserter's Songs was laid by the previous album, and subject of this here post......

See you on the other side is a wilder, more ramshackle and less focused affair than Deserter's Songs - and that ain't a bad thing! It marked two possibly related important milestones for the band: the transition from noisy guitar pop to a more organic natural sound using acoustic instruments, and the departure of occasional vocalist David Baker. Both of these milestones could have spelled disaster for the band. Although I was never a fan of Baker's vocals (and I'm using that word loosely!), he was a mesmeric live presence, and provided a sense of unpredictability and X-factor that many artists aim for....and fail to achieve. And the music was different enough to potentially alienate previous fans.

And somewhat inevitably, the album did spell disaster for the band:  it was a commercial failure, and the band split up....only for Rev mainstays Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper to regroup two years later and record the album they always wanted to make....and the rest is history.

So what does See you on the other side have to offer? Opener Empire State bides it's time for four minutes, with a Waiting for the man feel led by piano, guitar and flute, before exploding into a psychedelic freakout featuring a crazy assed sax solo. Magnificent! Young Man's Stride is a straightforward Clouds Taste Metallic-era Flaming Lips-like rocker - an unsurprising influence given Donahue's tenure in that band.

Sudden Ray Of Hope is a psychedelic/cocktail bar jazz/big band hybrid carried along by flute, with another great sax solo. Everlasting Arm is subdued and melodic, featuring along by piano, sax, and whistling(!), with a meandering instrumental ending. It is perhaps the closest song musically to Deserter's Songs.

Racing The Tide is a psychedelic/sixties power ballad hybrid, with a big chorus. In the blink of an eyelid transforms into a disco freakout reminiscent of Screamadelica-era Primal Scream) complete with wailing female vocals straight from Pink Floyd's The Great Gig In the Sky, complete with bizarre exhortations to "keep it going my friends! Plenty of tape!" made in a fake Indian accent. And if that ain't weird enough, closer Peaceful Night takes the cake - psychedelic blues, complete with organ, sax and clarinet!

Mercury Rev - 1995 - See you on the other side

1. Empire State (Son House In Excelsis)
2. Young Man's Stride
3. Sudden Ray Of Hope
4. Everlasting Arm
5. Racing The Tide
6. Close Encounters Of The 3rd Grade
7. Kiss From An Old Flame 
8. Peaceful Night
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3

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