Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mum "Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy"

Artist: Múm
Album: Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy
Label: FatCat
Release date: 24 September 2007
Genre: Electronic
Style: Folktronica/Freak Folk/Experimental

01. Blessed Brambles
02. A Little Bit, Sometimes
03. They Made Frogs Smoke ‘Til They Exploded
04. These Eyes Are Berries
05. Moon Pulls
06. Marmalade Fires
07. Rhuubarbidoo
08. Dancing Behind My Eyelids
09. School Song Misfortune
10. I Was Her Horse
11. Guilty Rocks
12. Winter (What We Never Were After All)
Total running time: 44' 05"

[Múm - They Made Frogs Smoke 'Til They Exploded - Video Clip]

[Múm - Blessed Brambles - Live @ Museum Of Garden History, London]

[Múm - Winter - Live @ Museum Of Garden History, London]

"This is the sound the children from “Village of the Damned” would have made had they not been so fixated with killing their parents and ruling the world, a sound that is both alien and child-like, whilst simultaneously clever and knowing. This is Múm.

A perfect representation of Iceland they certainly are, cold, distant, yet full of colour and vibrancy. Up until recently there has been several female vocalists in the band, each offering up highly pitched melodies which entwine with each other, the many and varied instruments in the mix and the electronic, glitch-style backing.

For many this mix of musical ingredients was best summed up in 2004’s “Summer Make Good” album, which left any future release with mountainously high expectations from many. That “Poison Ivy” deviates from this template is likely to lead to criticism from many quarters.

If you let yourself be put off by that though you will miss out on a quietly and slowly growing triumph of musical expression. What is present this time around is a more vocally dominated album than ever before. Also now a big feature is the addition of male vocals which adds an interesting but cleverly hidden dynamic to the final mix.

Múm succeed in pulling in the listener with an open, cool atmosphere, whilst at the same time hitting us with radiant and free strands of sound which in tracks such as opener “Blessed Brambles” and single “They Made Frogs Smoke Till They Exploded” (a tale of juvenile animal cruelty) sparkle beautifully. This nostalgic look back on life is continued through to track seven “Rhuubarbidoo” and track nine “School Song Misfortune” where it seems feasible that the album may well of been recorded in a remote field or even a lost village. The album may well disappoint for around two-thirds of its length with the appearance that it lacks a clear point or purpose, but the wider picture is soon revealed as the free traveller suddenly realises that he is actually lost!

An aspect that is hinted at with the song “I Was Her Horse” is fully announced in the next track (”Guilty Rocks”) which showcases a dark and haunting nature in its execution and beauty. Suddenly you’re suspended in an asylum looking for a way to escape. Out of hopelessness come the creeping angelic like voices toying with you that there is a way out, but all hope is finally lost on last track “Winter (What We Never Were After All)” which, along with the previous track, bring all the disparate strand together and deliver the highlight of the entire album.

In the end Múm have shown their willingness to change, but akin to the musical progression of their art they like to do it slowly and with subtlety. As for those scary children from Village of the Damned, perhaps they would have made equally impressive music if that damn idiot Gordon hadn’t of been so intent on saving the entire human race. Who knows, who knows indeed? [cue raised eyebrows, and cut]" [source]


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