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The Muffins - Open City CD (album) cover


The Muffins


Canterbury Scene

3.73 | 20 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars This "other" compilation (the better other being Chronometers) was released in 94, but contains for the most part of a home session in 80, two tracks from a solo Fred Frith album where The Muffins played back-up band, and four tracks dating from different sources in 77, previous to the recording of their debut album Mirage.

Of the seven tracks that form the home sessions, there is one (Hobart, the better one, too) that comes from their Mirage album, and overall, the session is not well recorded and lacks much interest. The sound is harsher and more uncompromising and avant-garde than on their Mirage album. The Firth album tracks are (as you'd guess) even more versed in the RIO than normal Muffin tracks. With the Switzerland track being quite interesting. Of the 77-track batch, Blind Arch is a lengthy (9-minutes) live improv, not bringing much else than boredom, with the possible expression of In The Red (Nucleus anyone?) and the excellent (and lengthy) Not Alone.

This second early "unreleased works" compilation lacks the pure brilliance of Chronometers and is a far cry from the debut album Manna/Mirage. Try out the full-blown prog studio albums, and then maybe come back to this one.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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