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Mashmakhan - Mashmakhan CD (album) cover

MASHMAKHAN

Mashmakhan

 

Prog Folk

3.20 | 18 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Just a normal psych-prog rock album of the times, Mashmakhan's debut had the chance to have one of that year's better hit single in its track list. But the problem of a 45 RPM is that it doesn't allow much to know an artist and in some ways, it's too bad that the group didn't sell as many albums as they did singles. This self-titled psych-prog debut album is aiming at Floyd's early days, especially in the front artwork's weird (un-)focused picture, but the musical content showed a certain amount of progressive moods through the album. The organ-driven group may have you think of Morse Code Transmission's and sometimes bears the same kind of "faute de gout" (over-arranged) and sounds very 60's-ish and sometimes pop.

But there is more to this album than As The Years Go By: there are plenty of excellent other tracks including the opening Days When We Are Free and its follow-up I know I've Been Wrong, where Blake's guitar pull some great histrionics and you will find more in Afraid Of Losing You. Musically we are between Morse Code Transmission debut album and the great SRC debut album, some Floyd-Beatles touches. The flute-driven Gladwin is certainly the first side's highlight, as in the chorus SÚnÚcal dubs a sax, but the flute shines like thousand suns.

The flipside opens on the early Colosseum-like If I Tried, but the following soul-inspired Happy is again over-produced. But there are a few stinkers on this album, such as the string over-loaded Shades Of Loneliness (they sound as cheesy and corny as BS&T) or to a lesser extent Nature's Love Song (still has moments, notably a cool flute solo), but aren't we glad the closing Letter From Zambia shows much promise for their next album. Indeed there is a slight African theme and a percussion break, just the length you needed it.

While I wouldn't call their debut essential in regards to the site's overall scope, if you're into Canadian psych-prog, then Mashmakhan's debut does have its historical importance, and this writer is always a bit partial to groundbreakers, so it gets a "close but no cigar" rating

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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