Staring until we suddenly burst

Ten years after their opus 'Deserters Songs', Mercury Rev are back with two new albums. Two! One of them, 'Strange Attractor', you can get right now, for free, just by clicking here. My download only just finished, so I obviously don't have any thoughts on it yet. Other than "My word, that was a nice, fast download".

Onto the other, 'Snowflake Midnight'. On this album, the band has discovered electronic drum beats and loops, and put them to substantial use. This is a pretty jarring switch for them to make. The biggest appeal to their music was always the ethereal prettiness of it, the noise you'd expect from handsome vampires, fragile but beautiful. In fact, the one time I saw them that wasn't life-changing was at a festival when they played while the sun was still out. Didn't work nearly as well. Mercury Rev's Bottleneck Stomp is a nocturnal beast, and there is something old-fashioned and timeless about their sound. Drum sounds from a computer will take some getting used to.

They work it in well, though. And besides, the other elements are still in place, with lyrics about squirrels, butterflies and raindrops. Jonathon's voice remains creepy but perfect, and he can still trot out poignant lyrics like "A bag full of second chances, overflowed and spilling out". There's a wall of feedback and chanting on 'Senses on Fire'. Handclaps on 'Faraway from Cars'. And best of all, a thundering wall of REAL drums and bells and harmonies on album highlight 'People are so Unpredictable'.

It's great to have them back.

[download Mercury Rev - People Are So Unpredictable (There's No Bliss Like Home)]

[Mercury Rev official / myspace]
[Buy 'Snowflake Midnight' US / UK / iTunes]


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