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The Muffins - Manna/Mirage CD (album) cover

MANNA/MIRAGE

The Muffins

 

Canterbury Scene

4.05 | 66 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I got very interested in this band after hearing one of their fantastic songs on the "After The Storm" record that was to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. It was actually a song off their "Bandwidth" record, but I thought I would start here, from the beginning. What I enjoy most about this band is listening to all the different sounds they produce. The woodwind and brass instruments, whistles, piano, organ, aboe, percussion, xylophone, vibes and on and on. They thank Kit Watkins from HAPPY THE MAN for technical help and advice. I would describe their sound as a cross between HATFIELD AND THE NORTH, SOFT MACHINE, HENRY COW and FRANK ZAPPA.

"Monkey With The Golden Eyes" opens with various sounds playing both slowly and pleasantly before an outbreak 1 1/2 minutes in as xylophone, sax and organ in particular build in sound. This song blends into "Hobart Got Burned" with it's all over the place drumming and different dissonant sounds. An outbreak 2 minutes in before returning to original soundscape. We get a melody before 3 1/2 minutes. This is really cool as drums and horns dominate, including some screaming sax that comes and goes. "Amelia Earhart" is truly an amazing track. It opens with about 1 1/2 minutes of atmosphere including percussion and whistles etc. before piano, drums and bass create a nice melody. Horns join in too. Guitar arrives 2 1/2 minutes in as the sound changes. Flute 2 minutes after that and light drums. Guitar is back after 5 1/2 minutes. Another change 7 1/2 minutes as horns and drums become prominant. A great uptempo passage 10 1/2 minutes in before we get an incredible atmospheric ending that reminds me of the intro and lasts almost 4 minutes ! The flute is a nice touch.

"The Adventures Of Captain Boomerang" was originally a side long suite at over 22 minutes. The 1 minute intro is mellow as some beautiful sax melodies are followed with drums. The band shouts "Captain Boomerang" a couple of times after 5 minutes. The song settles down before 10 minutes. Some nice piano 12 minutes in as drums and horns join in. The song pretty much stops 15 minutes in and restarts with clarinet and piano, at which point as I write this, the big red sun is sinking below the mountains. Dissonant sounds 17 1/2 minutes in as the sun has set. The sound is building including some scorching sax. Xylophone before 20 minutes as piano and drums come in a minute later, and we are cooking with an uptempo ending.

Chris Cutler said that this band should be included with the great bands of the seventies. These guys can play folks. A must have for progressive music fans, especially those leaning to the Jazz / Canterbury / Rio / Avant style of music.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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