Mahogany Frog: Senna (2012)
With its sixth album and second release for Moonjune Records, this Canadian outfit once again imparts a steadfast approach to the modern rock idiom. Drawing influences from a boundless array of genres such as psychedelia, '70s progressive rock, space rock and offbeat inferences to pop-rock, the unit at times demonstrates an unrelenting wall of sound. Featuring juiced-up crunch chords and hyper-pulses, the band fuses Sonic Youth-style noise guitar with tricky time signatures and delectably cheesy, '60s-style organ grooves. A few of the glaring attributes of this band's delivery are rooted within mechanical breakdowns and subtle melodic hooks, as they often break the sound barrier during the oscillating processes.
"Flossing with Buddha" is driven by enticingly cheesy Farfisa/church organ lines atop a weighty pulse, glistened by a compelling, regal melody line slanted with punchy accents and sinewy discourses. It's an anthem-like foray, spiced with a catchy hook that underscores Graham Epp Jesse Warkentin's keen songwriting skills; there's a method to the madness. On other tracks, the band incorporates sprawling electronics and hazed-out rock motifs with odd-metered unison choruses, summoning a true prog rock climate throughout.
The artists finalize the program with "Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service," designed with a barrage of clustered guitar phrasings, and synths emulating sirens to enact an emergency response, perhaps intimating that the ice cream truck is out of control. For that matter, this piece could reside as an appropriate aural panorama for Moses parting the Red Sea. Senna foretells a brave new world, where glimpses of the past segue into action-packed and rollicking futuristic output.
Track Listing: Houndtooth Part 1; Houndtooth Part 2; EXPO '67; Flossing with Buddha; Message from Uncle Stan: Grey Shirt; Message from Uncle Stan: Green House; Saffron Myst; Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service.
Personnel: Graham Epp: electric guitars, MicroMoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric and acoustic pianos; Jesse Warkentin: electric guitars, MicroMoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric and acoustic pianos; Scott Ellenberger: electric and acoustic bass, Briscoe organ, percussion; Andy Rudolph: drums, percussion and electronics.
Record Label: Moonjune Records