There is a time in my life where I would have just eaten this up.
Much like Yerself is Steam, this is a wild and crazy record where ambition possibly outstrips talent the odd time, but which is full of neat musical ideas coupled with a sense of fun that is sometimes missing from trippy music like this.
The thing I really like about Mercury Rev at this stage of the career is how fully psychedelic they go. So many neo-psychdelic bands just dabble, just add touches of psychedelia to otherwise conventional songs, and so you almost have to strain to hear it. Not these guys. There’s no mistaking that the most radical music of the 1960s plays a huge influence. (Don’t mistaken them for revivalists, though. This record certainly couldn’t have been made back then; there’s an alternative rock lens that gives the record a contemporary feel, so this isn’t some Brian Jonestown Massacre-type worship project.)
As I get older, though, songs are more important than they used to be. I wasn’t sure if the songs were strong enough initially, but the more I listen to it the more I think they’re just hiding, and that they really did write a pretty strong set of songs for such freaky music. (It helps they have strong pop instincts compared to some of these bands.)
I guess I’m just not quite sure I want to label it a classic. I think it might be more consistent than the debut, but that might involve having to listen to them back to back to make that judgment fairly.
Anyway, if you are looking for neo-psychedelia, it would be hard to go wrong with this thing.
- “Meth of a Rockette’s Kick” – 10:29
- “Trickle Down” – 5:04
- “Bronx Cheer” – 2:49
- “Boys Peel Out” – 4:28
- “Downs Are Feminine Balloons” – 6:29
- “Something for Joey” – 4:06
- “Snorry Mouth” – 10:55
- “Hi-Speed Boats” – 4:00
- “Continuous Drunks and Blunders” – 0:48
- “Girlfren” – 4:41
All songs written by Mercury Rev.
- Jimy Chambers – Drumming, AtlasSweepstakes
- Jonathan Donahue – Silver Pickup Guitar, Vocals between Ventolin hits
- Grasshopper – Dither Guitar, Licorice Stick
- Suzanne Thorpe – Rooster Tail Bass Flute, Chevron Fife
- Dave Fridmann – Bass Explore, Exhaled band-with Magnetics
- David Baker – Vocals