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The Muffins - Chronometers CD (album) cover


The Muffins


Canterbury Scene

3.77 | 43 ratings

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4 stars This is a collection of out takes and demos recorded mostly in the mid 70s and finally released on this splendid CD by Cunieform in 1992. Parts of this may be familiar to some listeners - an edited version of the title track was released on the Recommended Records sampler in the early 80s, for instance - but this CD is probably the best introduction for the newcomer and essential for any devoted fan.

The Muffins absorbed a lot of the Canterbury style, but stayed closer to the tongue in cheek approach of Hatfield and the North than the more avant prog stylings of Henry Cow or Soft Machine. They also had a definite American feel, despite their anglophilia, an effect particularly noticeable on the 23 minute title track which blends dialogue from The Wizard of Oz with some nimble jazz guitar and multi tracked reeds playing Zappa-esque chords. This epic justifies the price of the CD on its own, but what follows mostly lives up the high standard. Much of it sounds like it was recorded in one marathon session, rather than in dribs and drabs over half a decade, although some of the shorter pieces do have the feel of half finished sketches.

Chronometers is an essential introduction to a remarkable band, and is also a good taster for the Canterbury sound in general. Highly recommended.

Syzygy | 4/5 |


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