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Mansun - Attack Of The Grey Lantern CD (album) cover

ATTACK OF THE GREY LANTERN

Mansun

 

Crossover Prog

4.08 | 29 ratings

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Textbook
5 stars ALL HAIL BRIT-PROGS FORGOTTEN MASTERS.

Occupying fairly lonely territory between brit-pop and prog, Mansun dropped two brilliant albums, a fairly suspect third one that ended up killing the group and a series of dazzling EPs in their brief but worthy career. I have possibly never been more saddened at the break-up of a group- though that third LP was a bit crap, it did at least continue their trend of doing something very different each time and even though the aborted fourth album was released in its unfinished form, we can't say that it really represents what the band would have done next because it is incomplete.

We shall always fondly remember their video for Taxloss where they took the entire shoot budget in cash, threw it from the roof of a train station and filmed the ensuing scramble.

But getting on to Attack Of The Grey Lantern itself- wow. What a debut. Packed with excellence from the beautiful string section that opens The Chad Who Loved Me to the brilliantly worded Open Letter To The Lyrical Train Spotter, one of the funniest lyrics I've ever seen in prog.

AOTGL is not as openly progressive as Mansun's follow-up Six, the record that really suggested they could have been a prog band had they survived, but it is certainly easier to like. Songs like Egg Shaped Fred, She Makes My Nose Bleed, Wide Open Space and Stripper Vicar are extremely catchy but not too commercial, edgy and accessible at the same time.

From the cheesy romantic almost-disco feel of Mansun's Only Love Song (another ironic song concept given away by the title) to the freak-out Taxloss (and you should check out the uncut version of Taxloss which is floating around somewhere at about 15 minutes) to the epic, emotional closer Dark Mavis, this is rich, intoxicating, high-quality stuff.

Textbook | 5/5 |

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