Tim Mungenast is a Boston guitarist who appears to not be playing the game thousands of other Boston musicians do. But he tells me 'I really do care about things like playing out and trying to get promotion and distribution and the adoring embraces of fine maidens, but real life keeps getting in the way of all these things...band defections, recording snafus, family life, etc. I shoulda started this rock-star quest earlier in life, I guess. But I'm a persistent bastard... ain't gonna give up rockin' till I'm dead.'
Tim hasideas and personality. I have always said that the best rock vocalists have technically weak voices. Good voices belong in heavy metal bands or U2. Rock is where folks like Peter Perrett of The Only Ones or Tom Verlaine of Television plaintively sing from their minds. We the listener learn to accept the strange voice, and eventually to love it.
I don't know if I will ever love Tim's voice, but I do appreciate where he's coming from and where he's at. The Un-Stableboy has 10 songs, each painting a picture that the artist had to communicate to us. 'Candles' starts off the disc with female harmony vocals by Cheryl Wanner of Dreamchild. I have seen Cheryl and her husband around town for years, usually at Clive Barker signings or just on the street in the Square. They both dress like characters from the Scarlet Pimpernel, or the couple who sucked souls out of plague victims in the Star Trek Next Generation finale. I had never appreciated their band , but I really like her vocals on this disc. They are like velvet to Tim's plain vocal stylings.
There is a song called He Is Radio that I asked Tim about, as it was obviously written about someone important to Tim. Tim told me 'the He Is Radio dude was one of my earliest supporters, Sean Patrick Murphy from WMFO, who died at age 37 of a heart attack in 1994. Great DJ, great archivist, great storyteller, had me on his show a dozen times. I loved the guy.'
Tim's voice is most effective on the song 'Lithium Statement.' I wonder who the person he is talking about is? It sounds like it is someone Tim really cares about. The guitars are nice. Tim sounds like Neil Young and Crazy Horse with the open chord strum style he uses. At times his strum even reminds me of the Scottish band Josef K.
'Libation To John' is a poem to his deceased Father. It is one of my faves. The delivery reminds me of Frank Marino in Mahogany Rush, or Hawkwind in one of the spoken tracks on the record 'Warrior on the Edge of Time.'
'Dead Tree Scroll' starts off way too folky for me, but quickly picks up spice and becomes a true delight. Dead Tree Scroll has female harmony vocals and a kicking beat.
Music like on this CD is not what I usually find on my listening list, but that is part of the power of Tim's appeal. Check his Web site, buy his CD, and listen yourself, if any of this sounds like something you might like.