3 Apr 2013

Mordecai Smyth "Dial M For Mordecai" Review

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

Those who were drawn in by the swinging sixties vibe of Mordecai Smyth's debut "Sticky Tape & Rust" have another treat in store for them with the release of his new E.P "Dial M For Mordecai".
Murder is not on the menu, despite the Hitchcock referencing title and sleeve art however - Mordecai and his very able henchmen continue to do what they do best here, namely smart, melodic pop songs that draw from the Ray Davies school of character study, presented in a fashion that suggests tea on the village green more than popping hallucinogenics in swinging London.
Mr Smyth explains it better himself : "Imagine that the subconscious were a village. If so, the collective subconscious of Mordecai Smyth would be a vibrant community. A place where you would love to live. Not conventional, but a virtual 'Stella Street' of eccentric personas. A land where Barrett, Waits, Ayers, Stanshall and Cutler mix with The Kinks, The Who and The Beatles for high tea and the most outrageous blackberry jam sessions."
Opener "Dream On" is the biggest departure so far - still the sort of bouncy, yet melancholy tuneage that Smyth and Co. seem to be able to pull from their sleeve with alarming ease, but dressed in delicately aching slide guitars (think Floyd's "Meddle"), walls of mellotron and a vibrant backwards guitar outro that suggests the Smyth crew have discovered psychedelia and prog rock simultaneously.
Elsewhere, the territory is more familiar - mod pop anthems, with all of the influences that one would expect were this recorded back in 1966. 
Certainly in lesser hands this could tread perilously close to Austin Powers territory, but such is Mordecai's craft that all traces of kitsch are swiftly banished.
Highly recommended for lovers of vintage sixties guitar pop with a slight dash of the politely sinister.
Available to purchase here on fetching orange vinyl, or stream below. 

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