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The Muffins - Double Negative CD (album) cover


The Muffins


Canterbury Scene

3.55 | 23 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars The Washington quartet's latest album on Cuneiform is yet another proof that they are one of RIO's more prominent and impressive groups, with their now well into the third decade career, even if there was a big gap in between their two phases. The Scott and Newhouse lead quartet is still basically the same as it was in the late 70's and most members still play more than one instrument even if sears and Swann only play their respective bass and drums and share the acoustic and electric guitar duties respectively. Among the guest are a brass section and a strings section, and the recording took place over a two-year gap between 02 and 04. So in terms of non-posthumous release, this album is maybe (not exactly sure) only their third one and comes two years after their Bandwidth, which saw them return to affairs.

Another typical Muffin album that ranges sonically from Mirage to 185, although the harsh sounds of the latter are rarely present, preferring Canterburian soundscapes, slight Zeuhl touches (Angel From Lebanon and Stethorus Punctum), and the slight RIO of Unknown Rights. Some of the tracks are spine tingling, like the opening Highlands or its follow-up Writing Blind, while others can appear to be lost in the shuffle. On of the small gripes I could have is that one of the synth's sound is not always the most inspired and unfortunately it comes back a bit too many times for me. Another gripe is that their derivative sound was fun in Bandwidth, here sounds less interesting .. and more. derivative!!! (are you sure you're following me?)

While maybe not the best Muffins album, Double Negative (this makes a Positive) is certainly an album to own if you are more than a casual fan of the band, even if not groundbreaking or even innovative. I'd suggest most wanting to check the new Muffins sound to start with Bandwidth, which was

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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