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Matching Mole - Matching Mole CD (album) cover


Matching Mole


Canterbury Scene

3.65 | 280 ratings

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5 stars This is the record that introduced me to all things Canterbury...

When I first heard Matching Mole I thought it was the best record I ever heard, and while I don't quite have the same vision, it still stands as one of my favourite albums.

The first song, "O Caroline" opens the record with the nice and pleasant sound of the piano and mellotron flute knit together in a seamless way: a sweet, if a bit clumsy, pop ballad, made all the more interesting by Wyatt's frail voice. As beautiful the song is, the first signs of the madness to be found later already appear as the soft mellotron takes over the atmosphere just to abrutly cut as "Instant Pussy" begins.

"Instant Pussy" is a good example of the well-known Kentish humour: a tune based on a relatively simple riff played by Bill MacCormick, wordless but still meaningful. As for the meaning, just look at the title and listen to Wyatt's impersonation of a woman to find out...

"Signed Curtain" is just a song about a song, but what a song it is, so beautiful that I can't help but wonder what other set of lyrics could be put to it, even though the actual lyrics are part of the charm. Robert's voice on this one can only be described as heartbreaking.

From now on, the record changes perspective, gone are the pretty Canterbury pop tunes, now the madness is fully unleashed, and the true nature of the next pieces has to be listened to be believed: "Part Of The Dance" is a loose jazz-rock improv written by guitarist Phil Miller, it is based on a twisted and funny riff, but the my favourite part is the ending, where Dave Sinclair plays a short and sweet fuzz organ solo that finally relieves the piece's tension; "Instant Kitten" begins with a Krautrock-like introduction with backwards piano and vocals, but later turns into a Caravan-inspired jam; "Dedicated To Hugh, But You Weren't Listening" is as good as it's title's joke, coincidentally or not, this the most Soft Machine-sounding number of the lot.

The next two songs may not be up to the standards of the rest of the record, some may argue, but to me they just add to it's diversity. "Beer As In Braindeer" is a collage of weird, and in some occasions scary, avant-garde noises that slowly descend and morph into "Immediate Curtain", my favourite song on the record, which is a simple, but haunting and ever-increasing mellotron-violin improvisation that ends with a screechy, fading, 4-tracked loop.

All pieces, except "Part Of The Dance", were written by Robert Wyatt, but all members have a chance to shine more than once.

Matching Mole, while not on par with Soft Machine, Hatfield And The North and Caravan, was a talented band that could make fun and unpredictable music just as well as the others, and their debut definitely proves it.

JackFloyd | 5/5 |


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