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- New Age Music Is Here by Mysteries
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Strange, strange record from Mysteries, an outfit shrouded in such er, mystery, that apparently a billion name bands have had fingers pointed at them.
This could well be a complete red-herring. Loads of bands wear masks for attention-seeking purposes. I've no idea and little care to be honest but the first track on this album, mixed by Tortoise's John McEntire, is a wild, clattering, psychedelic tribal-fest that could well go down as one of the most exciting opening gambits by an experimental rock band this year. This ain't new age music, Ma.
Changing tack immediately into chest-beating, windswept drama, this is actually the direction Elbow should have gone in rather than the mawkish guff they now trade in. I must admit that the vocals on this record aren't remotely my thing for the most part but the music is uniformly entertaining and infused with passion and euphoria with a healthy spread of sonically interesting ideas. Mysteries deal in a confident modern electronically dense rock packed with impressive concepts. 'Stateless Wonder' is one such stunning example where skittering, excitable percussion emerges from a techno-laced elegy, moody vocals gliding over the gracious ascending synth motif. This track has genuine power and is possibly the one to consider DJing with. Later on, 'Call and Response with Morals' is also a downbeat yet epic gem that demands many repeat plays.
Somebody has mentioned that if early Associates were time-warped into the current day they may make music like this. There's definitely an undercurrent of that brave kitchen-sink pop world here and I consistently hear hints of local lads Wild Beasts' more impressive early material in many of these tracks, albeit less English, more muscular and brave. Once you've got over the sporadic falsetto, just bury yourself in the impressive array of tools at their disposal. It's not remotely a dull album. I'm actually quite impressed at how full-blooded and passionate this record sounds.
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