sat 08/08/2020

CD: Mind Fair - Mind Fair | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Mind Fair - Mind Fair

CD: Mind Fair - Mind Fair

Mind Fair take us for a wild, psychedelic ride on their debut album

Mind Fair: 'like getting to a destination using only a series of roundabouts'

Mind Fair, whose members comprise Dean "Chicken Lips" Meredith and Ben Shenton, has released a slew of imaginative and wildly different singles on their own label, Rogue Cat Sounds, as well as International Feel and Golf Channel. However, on hearing this accomplished debut album, you get the feeling that, good as these are, they’ve all been amuse bouches before the banquet.

After some scene-setting, incidental fairground frippery, things kick off with “Green Fingers (Love From Above)”. The zither, distorted psychedelic guitar and bass that drinks deep from the subcultural well of the past 30 years make this the kind of moreish starter that was the signature dish of the Idjut Boys and Tim Love Lee some 20 years ago. The fact that they still sound like fresh ingredients is simply because style trumps fashion every time.

Meanwhile, “Voodoo Train” serves up an experimental, percussive smorgasboard, paired with vocal manoeuvres that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early LP by Polish vocal harmony lounge legends Novi Singers. Echoes of their distinctive voices are also to be heard on “U Got the Lovin’”, which you’d almost believe was a lost Grandmaster Flash backing track – if he’d had a massive appetite for mushrooms and tape delay. It’s a wonderful, diverse and glorious mess.

There are so many highlights: the sprawling guitar licks that season each track, the exotic flourishes that help to flavour certain songs, most notably the laid-back continental drift of “So Morose”, and the Italo spice of hypnotic head-nodder “Neon Carnival”. Plus, if the Eno-produced, Afro-era Talking Heads had ever guested on Sesame Street, “Cursed” would have been the note-for-note result. That’s supposed to sound like a good thing, by the way.

This is an album that is steeped in the past yet tilting towards the future. Sure, there’s repetition here, both musically and thematically, but it's never at the expense of forward momentum. It’s like getting to a destination using only a series of roundabouts, the moves are familiar and there’s a sense of going back on oneself, but it’s always to find an exit to somewhere new and exciting.

Overleaf: watch the teaser video for Mind Fair's album

This is an album that is steeped in the past yet tilting towards the future

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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