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Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic - Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic (Ep)  CD (album) cover


Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic



3.02 | 6 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
3 stars The debut EP

BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC was one of the stranger bands that emerged from the already bizarre avant-prog world of the anything goes experimental 70s. The band was formed from the ashes of the Boston, MA based post-punk band Moving Parts when vocalist / keyboardist Erik Lindgren and vocalist / guitarist Roger Miller teamed up to create what the Boston Globe described as "classical-punk-jazz-car-wreck music." Miller is better known for his other post-punk creation Mission of Burma which was formed in 1979 but BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC which has always been considered a side project has been an influential and revered musical creation in the avant-prog underground.

The music has been almost exclusively instrumental over the years and although the band has been associated with the rock world for good reason as they managed to play side by side with three chord rockers in the early years, the band members were more influenced by the likes of Igor Stravinsky and Brian Eno than the traditional guitar, bass and drum bands of the era and this is extremely evident on the band's short self-titled debut EP which features five tracks that focus more on avant-classical piano rolls and motorik rhythmic percussive drives in the vein of Neu! At this stage the band was a quartet with Rick Scott (Farfisa, percussion, piano) and Martin Swope on guitar but honestly the guitar parts are limited to strange feedback noise and avant-garde techniques.

This is a weird little collection of music for sure. It begins with the classic Krautrock motorik percussive beat but is joined by a slightly skewed mix of jazz meets piano runs but infinitely more melodic than the brooding dissonance and chaotic swirls of noise that erupt in "Drift" which despite starting off with a similar piano run quickly breaks down into a cacophonous maelstrom of guitar feedback and pointillistic Stockhausen inspired piano stabs as well as other weirdness. "The Orange Ocean" returns to Earth and provides some stellar piano workouts with chamber orchestration that sounds more like traditional classical music than anything else on the EP.

This debut EP was only released once in 1983 on vinyl but now appears with the band's first full-length "Magnetic Flip" and the second EP "Beat of the Mesozoic" on the compilation "Dawn of the Cycads." This is one of my favorite avant-prog bands of the 80s. They didn't sound like anyone else and had a consistent run of avant-garde albums all throughout the 80s and are alive and well in the 21st century. While this debut EP isn't exactly the most essential of their output, it's a decent batch of early recordings that prognosticated the band's extreme sophistication that followed.

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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