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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Reviews: Mostly Autumn, Tracer

Mostly Autumn: The Ghost Moon Orchestra (Mostly Autumn Records)

Any band that can get away with the lyric "Weeks disappear like five pound notes" has to have an intrinsically British and Mostly Autumn are. This is there second release of their new era with front woman Olivia Sparnenn and like with nearly all MA releases it blends Floydian 70's prog-rock with folk. Bookended by the haunting Unquiet Tears and the tribal chant of Top Of The World  both of which explode into classic rock crescendo with Top Of The World ending into a solo that Gilmour himself couldn't have played better. The propulsive Drops Of Sun (featuring the aforementioned lyric) is Bryan Josh’s first time to show off his half-whispered anguished vocal over a big rock backing and features MA's trademark shift in tempo before the countrified The Devil And The Orchestra and is followed by the majestic and haunting title track. This album has more of the folk influence than Go Well Diamond Heart but it has always been something that Mostly Autumn have excelled at with Kings Of The Valley having the sound of prime Jethro Tull. The band are all on top form as usual with Iain Jennings keys playing a huge role and Sparnenn’s vocals are ethereal beautiful working in conjunction with Josh's harmonic guitar playing which is shown at is best on Tennyson Mansion. This is a great album and another excellent addition to Mostly Autumn's history. 8/10

Tracer: LA? (Cool Green Records)

This is the re-release of the Australian band's debut mini- album. Michael Brown, Leigh Brown and Andre Wise set about unleashing a grunge/stoner rock attack that is also steeped in 70's bravado. The Cornell-esque vocals of Michael Brown bring the grunge edge to his heavy melodic riffage, his brother provides a great bass rhythm and everything is anchored by Wise's drumming. The propulsive End Of The Samurai opens the album with explosive power and the rest of the album follows in similar style mixing some crunchy grunge licks with some high powered blues based classic rock. This is a great starting point for the band and it sets up their full length brilliantly. 7/10 

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