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Cerberus Shoal


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Cerberus Shoal Crash My Moon Yacht album cover
3.90 | 12 ratings | 1 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Changabang I (3:01)
2. Breathing Machines (10:19)
3. Elle Besh (13:53)
4. Changabang II (2:43)
5. Long Winded (8:22)
6. Changabang III (3:03)
7. Yes Sir, No Sir (9:49)
8. Asphodel (6:03)

Total Time 57:18

Line-up / Musicians

Tom Rogers/ Drums, Shaker
Caleb Mulkerin/ Guitar (Electric), Farfisa Organ, Morin Khuur, Hammond Synth, Singing Saw, Radio, Voices
Chriss Sutherland/ Guitar (Acoustic), Banjo, Voices, Bass (Electric), Shaker, Djembe
Eric LaPerna/ Percussion, Conga, Drums (Bass), Wood Block, Cowbell, Dholak, Cuica, Whistle (Instrument), Xylophone
Tom Kovacevic/ Guitar (Electric), Voices, Quena, Oud
Tim Harbeson/ Flute, Piano, Organ (Pump), Keyboards, Trumpet, Accordion

Releases information

2000 North East Indie

Thanks to black velvet for the addition
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CERBERUS SHOAL Crash My Moon Yacht ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(67%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CERBERUS SHOAL Crash My Moon Yacht reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars Cerberus Shoal took an odd and unexpected turn with this 2000 release, as well as ‘Homb’ that preceded it. You only need to know two things to determine if you’ll like these songs – they pretty much all drip with dissonance and persistent drone, and exhibit an almost painful lack of any sense of urgency. At least that pretty much describes at six of the eight songs here; the last two are slightly different (more on that point later).

‘Crash My Moon Yacht’ was recorded around the same time as the ‘Homb’ CD that was released before it, as well as around the same time as ‘Mr. Dog Boy’ which wouldn’t be released until after the band’s metamorphosis from a six-piece mostly acoustic touring group to more of a studio collective, with a smaller touring troupe that would rely much more heavily on programming and recorded sounds to flesh out their music. If you’d never heard the band and didn’t know anything about them this record would come off as a casual blend of new age and post rock, with the emphasis being a bit more on the new age side. I think that is probably a bit of an oversimplification though.

In fact, I think the group was going through a sort of “Happiness is a Warm Gun” period (so to speak), experimenting with polyrhythmic arrangements delivered by an impressive array of instruments (I count 31 in the credits, but that includes a generic “percussion” which clearly represents a wide variety of gadgets). The majority are acoustic, although there is an omnipresent Hammond organ, an electric guitar, and a smattering of other synthesized sounds as well. Caleb Mulkerin, who also wrote a ton of the band’s material throughout their career, plays (among other things) a Farfisa organ (the transistor one, not the MIDI), something that hasn’t been heard much on studio albums since around the time of the Vietnam War. This is largely responsible for giving some of the music a sort of thin, metallic sheen that calls to mind prototypical new-agers like Philip Glass and Mike Oldfield, and is most apparent on the 3-part “Changabang”, what sounds like a single song that was split into thirds and sequenced throughout the album for no apparent reason. Combine the tinny Farfisa and a fair amount of drone with just a little brass and ill-timed fadeouts, and you get the idea.

These songs are far more approachable than much of the rest of the band’s catalog, meaning you don’t need to be a pseudo-intellectual musicology professor to appreciate them. The tone is quite repressed at times though, so headbangers should just move along and try not to make eye contact.

The one slight aberration on the album is “Yes sir, No sir”, which for some reason is one of the only songs to feature intelligible vocals (there’s moaning and chanting and such elsewhere, but not much). Unfortunately Colleen Kinsella wouldn’t show up until a couple years after this album was recorded, so the singing is mostly indie-like two-part harmonies from a couple guys in the band and not all that impressive.

One of the more interesting tracks doesn’t come until the end with the almost completely acoustic and multi-textured “Asphodel”, a mostly-instrumental that also features the majority of brass heard on the album (in fact Tim Harbeson’s trumpet is the feature instrument on this one).

I hadn’t listened to this record in a while before spinning it a couple times this week. What has struck me now but didn’t when I first bought it is that the band seems to have a bit of a split personality on this record. The “Changabang” series as well as “Breathing Machines” and “Long Winded” are heavy on drone, electronic sounds and ambience; while “Elle Besh”, “Yes sir, No sir” and “Asphodel” are more acoustic, tonal and earthy. This second face of the band’s music would manifest more as they matured, culminating in their free- folk swan song ‘The Land We All Believe In’ in 2005.

But before that would happen the group would go on to produce a couple more oddities, as well as several awkward collaborations with acts like Guapo, Herman Dune, The Magic Carpathians Project, the Bishop Brothers (aka Avarius B) and Still Life. This record is better than most of those, and if you are even mildly interested in Cerberus Shoal I would say this isn’t a bad place to start. ‘Homb’ is probably the group’s most representative record, but considering they have a habit of ranging all over the place musically and reinventing themselves ever year or so, “representative” is a relative term. Four stars for one of the band’s better releases, and well recommended.


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