MORDECAI SMYTH

The Mayor Of Toy­town Is Dead mega DoDo A col­lec­tion of cu­ri­ous, psych-soaked pop – from Read­ing.

Prog - - Limelight - SS

You can’t fault Mordecai Smyth’s at­ten­tion to de­tail. The first full-length fol­low-up to 2011’s Sticky Tape And Rust is brim­ming with in­stru­men­tal set­tings that con­sti­tute a kind of au­ral short­hand for late-60s breezy pop and the darker tones of the early 70s. If some of these tunes ap­pear fa­mil­iar in places, that’s be­cause his writ­ing is ‘in­formed by the mu­sic of yes­ter­year’. Thus twangy gui­tars, breathy flute, sweet har­monies, sin­u­ous clar­inet, sprightly beats and folds of lus­cious Mel­lotron are craftily mar­shalled into an agree­ably trippy set con­sist­ing of nine songs. The clever trick here is that they man­age this heart-on-the-sleeve homage while avoid­ing any ob­vi­ous rip-offs. Just in case the con­nec­tion to a more whim­si­cal era wasn’t en­tirely ob­vi­ous, a sway­ing, sin­ga­long cover of Car­a­van’s Golf Girl dis­pels any doubts. Its in­clu­sion, though pleas­ant enough, seems un­nec­es­sary given the strength of the ma­te­rial, such as Head­ing Back West, which could’ve been found down the back of Ray Davies’ old sofa, or the im­pend­ing un­cer­tain­ties lurk­ing be­neath Far From The Crowd’s sunny ex­te­ri­ors. Guest spot solo­ing from Strawbs‘ Dave Lam­bert book­ends a lov­ingly as­sem­bled col­lec­tion blessed with a spe­cial at­mos­phere.

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