Monday, 25 September 2006
Mojave 3 have been around for about 12 years, long enough for me to lose interest in them. I nearly did after their last album Spoon & Rafter. It was uh, how shall I put it, dull. When Puzzles Like You came out this summer I was a bit skeptical, but the sunny upbeat pop on this record easily won me over. To me, Puzzles has a lot in common with their second record, Out of Tune.
With five records to pull material from plus a Neil Halstead solo record (no, they didn’t do any Slowdive songs), the band didn’t dwell too much on the new record. This kinda disappointed me, because I really could have gone for hearing the thing in its entirety. It’s that good, I would argue their best. But alas we only got a hand full of songs from it, including the Title track, Breaking the Ice, and To Hold Your Tiny Toes. I was surprised at how much I missed Rachel Goswell’s vocal harmonies on a lot of the songs. I kept expecting to hear her parts, but they just left them out. I wonder if we’ll ever see her touring again?
After last night I should also probably take back what I said earlier about Spoon & Rafter, because they did a version of Bluebird of Happiness from that record that was simply amazing. It seemed totally reinvented, with the band almost sounding a bit like Slowdive with the washes of guitar and strong baseline. I think Bluebird totally stole the show. A couple other older songs also seemed to take on new interpretations from this version of Mojave 3, all of them seeming to owe a bit sonically to the band’s forebearer, Slowdive.
Opening band Brightblack Morning Light have their new record out now on Matador. They seemed like a bit of a joke (they had a mini Stonehenge set up on stage?!), a bit too much free love vibe, a bit of Spacemen 3 / Spiritualized, a hell of a lot of delay on their vocals, no percussion, and slow droning, noodling songs that went on forever. Their stuff probably sounds good if you like to listen to your music with the help of a little weed. I think most of Neumo’s was just trying to stay awake.
photo courtesy of daniel78.