Mercury Rev: Boces
This is an odd album, by an equally odd group. This is 90’s alternative, with some prog tendencies (they would get proggier). That doesn’t say enough either. There are some very catchy elements, surrounded by a cacophony of instruments (there are a vast array used here.) Within what seems to be a mess, cohesion comes forth. It is quirky, and funny at times, but there is also darkness lurking about. On most of the songs, the lyrics are near impenetrable. Lost? I’m not surprised. All in all, it’s a very enjoyable album.
“Meth of a Rockette’s Kick” is probably the most prog of the bunch. It starts with a very light, and playful feel, and builds to a crescendo with noisy guitars. All the while, staying true to the playful aspect. It goes in to an interlude/jam, with some horns, crazy piano, and a flute keeping the theme going. The ending is an all out frenzy.
“Trickle Down” is a bit hardcore, almost metal. It reminds me a bit of Jane’s Addiction.
“Bronx Cheer” may be the closest thing to a mainstream (dare I say pop?) number.
“Boys Peel Out” is a jazzy, beatnik inspired thing. There are great touches of drum brushes, electric piano, and a vibraphone.
“Snorry Mouth” is a dark little number, playing with the old relationship issues. “Hi-Speed Boats” is reminiscent of the best of psychedelic rock. You can especially hear the Beatles’ (“Rubber Soul” era) influence.
“Girlfren” is a drunken scat. If you can tell me what is being said, I would sure like to know.
Those are the highlights. It’s a tough act to nail down, but I do know that I like it. Anyone who likes a good alternative band mixed with prog should dig it. This is an album prof lovers could fool their friends with. Put it on and they will say, “Thank god you’re not playing that weird, boring crap.” But you would know that there is much more here, beneath the surface.
Jonathan Donahue – vocals, guitar, sounds
David Fridman – bass, vocals
David Baker – vocals
Jimy Chambers – drums, electric piano
Suzanne Thorpe – flutes, French horn
Grasshopper – sounds