Mosman Alder – Humdrum Star (2014)
Dear reader, allow me to begin by pointing out, if it hasn’t been sufficiently evident already, that this whole Vinyl Series™ business is not at all about album reviews in the usual sense (a fact worthy of some celebration).*
Rather, this is all about an opportunity to share with you some of my own favourite recent releases. Objectivity has no place here. Total Bias™ is the name of the game. So the fact that I served as producer on this very record should matter about as much as the possibility that I may be wearing Mosman Alder face paint as I type these very words (PHOTO UNAVAILABLE). For I am, dear reader, a fan of this band.
About this time last year I received a bunch of demo’s from the aforementioned Brisbane six-piece and I was immediately enthralled by what I heard. Mosman Alder are a big band with big ideas. With six members I suppose it’s a given that there would be a wider-than-usual array of influences and styles finding their way into the sound. What is not a given though is that these many diverse factors could actually add up to a cohesive whole and that there would still be six members after their first three months.
But Mosman Alder are a clever bunch and they all know how to serve a single master – the song.
With a personnel that includes two noise-loving guitarists who also share lead baritone duties, a classically trained (Polish!) pianist and a classically trained (Scottish!) violinist who also share ethereally beguiling backing vocal duties and a rhythm section made up of a suave stoner bass player and a prodigiously bearded doom-metal drummer, Mosman Alder are a band that can make just about any kind of noise they might wish to and about as much of it as you might dare them to.
Yet they are disciplined, united and devoted to a craft and the way they weave their many and varied ideas through these eleven tracks is an impressive display of tasteful restraint and raucous abandon (not to mention inter-band diplomacy, give them each a ribbon!).
And I haven’t even really attempted to describe the eleven tunes on the record because frankly they defy easy genrefication(™) and well, it would just be really boring of me wouldn’t it? Am I right or am I right?
Is it baroque-synth-pop-noise-rock-art-folk-indie-doom-punk-chamber-country?
The answer is of course, who the fuck cares? They sure don’t and neither do I when I’m enjoying it this much.
What is infinitely more worthy of our consideration is that in most universes this band probably wouldn’t function at all yet in this one they make it look easy…
(*Indeed, the only way in which this brief missive resembles most album reviews is that by the end of it you will probably have learned more than you wanted to about the writer and less than you wanted to about the album itself and you’ll probably still just have to hear it to form your own opinion. And so it is…)