The debut record by Manchester's Mum & Dad is as good as I hoped. With only two songs from previously released singles, there is lots of new stuff to enjoy.Yes, it is only a 10 song record, but each song is long and fully developed.
Mum & Dad are a trio that use prog acid rock and cheap synthesizers along with guitar bass and drum. The band is composed of Clair Pearson (who sings), Ian Rainford, and Joe Robinson. Their songs are a heady mix of psychedelia, gutter rock, and modern retro sounds.
As there are only ten tracks, I'll give you a song by song.
- The Electric Mistress opens up in a grand fashion, with a big sound. The voice follows tone bending cello in a very psychedelic way, with an eastern feel The last minute of this five minute track removes the vocal and introduces a beat and bongos to accompany the cello.
- Six Week Holiday reminds me of the Cambridge band The Phenomenological Boys. The track starts off with birds and what sounds like children's musical instruments. There is a bit of Pop-Off Tuesday in the verse until the song takes off for the rockish chorus.
- Bird With a Broken Wing is very psychedelic. There is a touch of Moody Blues and Jefferson Airplane on this one. The song is basically very soft, but it has a great power when the voice sweeps through the chorus.
- Kiss of Death is the single which came out before this record. It is a great track. It is to the point, and very catchy in an offbeat way.
- Marvin has the sounds of children singing nursery rhymes in a schoolyard, similar to what Belle and Sebastian did on If You're Feeling Sinister. What Mum & Dad do that brings it to the next dimension is to combine tribal chants into the rhymes, until stopping it all abruptly with a school bell. For some reason this song reminds me of the Alice Cooper song Stephen from his 1975 Welcome to my Nightmare LP.
- Pretty Pretty is one of the wilder tracks on the disc. The vocals are punkish in attitude and the music has sharp edges all over, with synth action like Fat Truckers or a raw Add N to X. The freakout at the end of the track approaches pure noise for a few blissful seconds.
- Easypeasy is a smooth song with prog music, water sounds, and lots of multi tracked vocals by Clair Pearson. There is a slide whistle in the quiet bridge. There is little to fault is a song as fine as this.
- Dawn Rider has reverb, echo and attitude. It is a biker styled song that has background vocals which remind me of Pere Ubu's Final Solution.
- Butterfingers is two minute soft track with acoustic guitar accompanying Clair Pearson's voice along with a Moody Blues styled synthesizer.
- Doninton closes out the record. The bass and the vocal are overdriven with distortion. The sound reminds me of early tracks by the LA band Charles Brown Superstar in 1993. The song has a part that kicks in after two minutes which reminds me of the ending of David Bowie's Candidate (from the Diamond Dogs LP). Doninton is over the top all the way through, for all of its five and a half minutes. I like all the tracks on this record.
I can't really tell you favorites as I like different ones at different times, but I can say that the songs I'd play on a rocking radio show would be Pretty Pretty and Doninton. At home these are probably the last ones I'd play. Marvin is my fave for home (at the moment). All the soft cuts work great on a cold day inside.
This record came out early in 2002. I hope they release a second full length soon.