198

Mahogany Frog: DO5

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Mahogany Frog: DO5 This is music made of big gestures joyfully subverted. A flash of progressive rock—in the narrowest, most virtuosic sense of the term—is figuratively taken outside to be administered a kicking. In addition and just for good measure, or perhaps in the interest of dynamic variation, a lyrical strain emerges when the music does get quieter and more reflective, which goes to show that this is also a band big on variation.

In terms of the overall context, the opening "G.M.F.T.P.O" is seemingly all gesture with its blustering, overdriven guitars, but it proves only to be a point of entry. This is just as it should be, especially when "You're Meshugah!" comes on rife with the nastier sounds it's possible to coax out of good old analogue synthesizers; the kind of fiercely diffident complexity reminiscent of Hatfield And The North in their prime along with a melody that's nothing if not catchy at around the two and a half minute mark.

Those big gestures referred to above come to the fore on "You're Not My Sugar," a title which if based on aural evidence alone, should have an accompanying exclamation mark. Again the guitar is overdriven to the point of distraction but thankfully not in the service of fingers flying over frets. It amounts to a whole lot of nothing anyway as this is a band dead keen on dynamics and the galumphing "Demon Jigging Spoon" which follows soon dissolves into a tricky interlude where the accelerator is eased off and the music gets a chance to breathe.

"Medicine Missile" pulls back even further, the music seeming at times to dissolve in a sea of echo which has the effect of lending significance to every note. Again, the virtuosic trope is wilfully undermined even when the tempo is upped and heads might indeed bang.

"Loveset" closes the disc out with neither a bang nor a whimper, but that's only a good thing as this is music in which contour has far greater importance than mere grandstanding. A reflective trumpet fanfare bears out, lending the piece a curious dignity and the album as a whole a kind of seamlessness; as if for its duration the listener has been privy to the evolution of a work in constant progress.


Track Listing: G.M.F.T.P.O.; T-Tigers & Toasters; Last Stand At Fisher Farm; You're Meshugah; I Am Not Your Sugar; Demon Jigging Spoon; Medicine Missile; Lady Xoc & Shield Jaguar; Loveset.

Personnel: Graham Epp: guitars, Micromoog, Farfisa organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric and acoustic pianos, trumpet; Jesse Warkentin: guitars, Micromoog, Farfisa organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric and acoustic pianos; Scott Ellenberger: electric and acoustic bass, conch, Briscoe organ, percussion, trumpet; J.P. Perron: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Moonjune Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Miniatures" CD/LP/Track Review Miniatures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Henry" CD/LP/Track Review Henry
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Happy
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "The Space Between" CD/LP/Track Review The Space Between
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!