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Matching Mole - Matching Mole CD (album) cover

MATCHING MOLE

Matching Mole

 

Canterbury Scene

3.63 | 240 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars With SOFT MACHINE going further into the Jazz realm and wanting to use less vocals Robert Wyatt left and formed his own band MATCHING MOLE. This first release is very much Wyatt's baby as he wrote all but one song, although David Sinlair (CARAVAN) co- wrote the first track with Robert. Their follow up album "Little Red Record" would be a total band effort. In my opinion this self titled record ranks as one of the best Canterbury albums I have ever heard, rivalling the best that CARAVAN put out. The fact that others don't share my enthusiasm about this recording, except for maybe Sean Trane, caused me to put this review off and to listen to it again and again to see if maybe I was mistaken. I'm not. This really caught me by surprise, I wasn't expecting it to be this good or varied. It starts with three mellow songs with Wyatt's appealing vocals then switches gears to a more Jazz and even Fusion style of music with touches of psychedelia. The last two tracks are experimental, and for me the highlights of this album especially the last song.

"O Caroline" is a sentimental ballad with Wyatt's fragile vocals accompanied by piano. There is some mellotron as well in this one. Of note, all the songs blend seamlessly into one another. "Instant Pussy" has those unique vocal melodies from Robert as drums, bass and piano fill out the sound. These vocal sounds continue into the start of the next track "Signed Curtain". This song is a real highlight for me and I disagree with those who complain about the humour in it. I mean that is what Cantrerbury is all about. Just check out CARAVAN or HATFIELD AND THE NORTH's lyrics in case your wondering. Wyatt basically describes the song as he's singing with beautiful piano melodies in tow. This just is so funny. "Part Of The Dance" is a 9 minute Miller composition that borders on Fusion at times. This is the most aggressive song by far. It takes a while to get going as keys and drums open the song. Scorching guitar and some great bass in this terrific tune.

"Instant Kitten" opens with a vocal melody as guitar, drums and fuzz organ arrive. This has such an amazing sound to it as they just seem to jam for the most part. Mellotron and organ to end it. "Dedicated To Hugh, But You Weren't Listening" is a nod to Hugh Hopper from SOFT MACHINE. On SOFT MACHINE's "Volume Two" they had a song called "Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening". There is a psychedelic vibe to this one before it kicks in after a minute. Some nice guitar work,organ and drums. This is a powerful instrumental. "Beer As In Braindeer" is experimental with odd drum patterns and guitar melodies. Percussion, guitar and organ create an awesome soundscape. This is great ! Phil Miller shines. "Immediate Curtain" makes me understand a little why ANEKDOTEN lists Robert Wyatt as a big influence in their musical careers. Check out ANEKDOTEN's My Space page to see a current picture of Wyatt as he's one of their friends. This song is absolutely drenched in mellotron ! This really recalls ANEKDOTEN's songs that are usually swimming in mellotron. The mellotron waves sweep across the soundscape in this song especially 3 minutes in. This is haunting, eerie and fantastic !

Robert Wyatt's solo work and his work with SOFT MACHINE and MATCHING MOLE reveal what a musical genius he really is. An absolute must have.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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