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Mahogany Frog - Senna CD (album) cover

SENNA

Mahogany Frog

 

Eclectic Prog

3.99 | 103 ratings

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BrufordFreak
3 stars After several dedicated listens through this album over the past few months I am finally ready to post a review of this highly acclaimed album from 2012. An instrumental album in the vein of OZRIC TENTACLES, HYPNOS69 and QUANTUM FANTAY with a little more emphasis and volume given to the drums and computer-generated sounds and keyboards and a little less emphasis on predictable melody and structure. (This is no jam band!) While I have enjoyed my listens, and have been entertained and engrossed in their sound (especially the computer keyboard work), and I do appreciate the passion coming from the drummer, it is doubtful that I will find myself returning to this album very often.

1. "Houndstooth, Part 1"?starts out sounding a bit like one of my favorite alubmartists, STEREOLAB's Dots and Loops before the organ is joined by some psychedelic fuzz guitar, computerized drum sounds and rhythms, and builds into what is obviously an instrumental. Kind of cool. (8/10) 2. "Houndstooth, Part 2"?keeps the 60s fuzz/treated guitar and bass sounds with live acoustic drums and some KRAFTWERK/OMD-like keyboard sounds all packaged into a kind of 60s psych pop or 80s bubble gum TONY BASIL-like sound and feel. Happy and psychedelic even a little bluesy. (7/10) 3. "Expo '67"?sounds like a new version of EDGAR WINTER's "Frankenstein" to me. Same instruments, same riffs, same structure. (7/10) 4. "Flossing with Buddha"?birds and church organ start out this one before it turns into a kind of Brit-pop song again straddling the late 60s and the bubble gum pop of the 80s. (Lulu, The Buckinghams, Adam Ant, Yaz, The The.) (7/10) 5. "Message from Uncle Stan Grey Shirt"?some of Mahogony Frog's intros, like this one, remind me of fellow Canadians, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR. Lots of chaos and cacophony?like an orchestra tuning before a concert. Uncle Stan (in the Grey Shirt) must be totally wasted cuz this song is all about chaos and really having a slow and tough time (being able to) getting it together. Finally, a kind of House of the Rising Sun meets Pomp and Circumstance pulls itself up out of the dross and then morphs into a "This Is The Doors" cover band intro for the final two minutes. Interesting. And psychedelic. (7/10) 6. "Messsage from Uncle Stan Green House"?starts out with a rather striking JAGA JAZZIST sound to it. Indecipherable babel of voices accompanies the music for a little while until it all descends into a slowed down, heavily sound-effects-accompanied heroine trip. Ends on a structured note. (6/10) 7. "Saffron Myst"?is a melodic, almost laid-back tune with synths/organ featured. Again, I am reminded of STEREOLAB and especially Dots and Loops. (8/10) 8. "Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service"?carries over the synth trails from "Saffron Myst" while turning them into virulent crazy with a Todd Rundgren-like organ wash beneath to keep them all tied together. The guitar's entry at 2:35 is wonderful and continues to build within the tornadic frenzy of the other crazed musicians. Again, I am reminded of some of TODD's more adventurous experimentations with sound and noises in his early 1970s solo works. I even half expected it to end with the baton taps and Todd's voice saying, "No! No! No! A little more humanity, please!" as he does at the end of "The Spark of Life." But, no! The song quiets down, goes cyber-space crazy before a harpsichord enters to "restore" order?and fadeout the album! (8/10)

A highly creative album laced with psychedelia reminiscent of all of the past four decades' technological and sound advances. This is not an album I will come back to as often as the above cited space/psychedelic artists because of a certain lack of, well, melody. But I will revisit it for the smiles and curiosities it generates.

3.5 stars rated up for creativity, uniquity and courage.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |

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