Monday, November 05, 2012

MOWBIRD The Quiet Despair Of The Starship Enterprise

There are six EPs or singles by Mowbird already up on Bandcamp and to add to that impressive list out this week is a new EP from the “surf-punk quartet from Wrexham” available as a digital download and limited edition CD. After the raucous rattle of May’s “We Sell Maternity Swimwear” EP, freshly re-pressed as a CDR in hand-stitched slip case (“some packages may contain high quality Welsh air”), this November EP draws from a broader musical palette. That’s not say they’ve lost their lo-fi bite in their fine re-working of 90s and 00s US alt-rock but there’s some neo-psych moodiness in there too.

‘Aufladen! Aufladen!’ flicks from Malkmus meander to Times New Viking distort-pop racket in a neat sub-two minute tale of a killer girlfriend. Second track ‘Hey Athena’ seems to be taking said murderous sweetheart on holiday (“Let’s vacation!”) in a gleeful Mazes-meets-Black Lips garage-pop sunshine party blast. ‘And We Have A Winner’ slows things down with a delicious combination of woozy analogue sway and underwatery chug before the tumbling-down-the-stairs fairground organ and repeated questioning of ‘Volunteer’ deliriously speed them up. ‘The Quiet Despair Of The Starship Enterprise’ does indeed sound like the lonely reflections of a planet-destroying space captain built upon strange, gliding sci-fi pulsations (with the gentlest of mournful nods to Grandaddy?).

Mowbird were one of the live highlights of Green Man for me this year. And I am utterly besmitten with the ‘We Sell Maternity Swimwear’ track. But this new EP shows are they are continually developing beyond that surf-punk sound. With this prolific yet quirky progression I cannot imagine it is not too long before one of the more adventurous major indie labels (Fatcat?) were to take an interest. However I’m not sure if Mowbird would be that interested. As these tunes and their email announcement for this EP shows, I think they are having too much fun in charge of their own lo-fi and hand-crafted destiny.

Mowbird The Quiet Despair Of The Starship Enterprise [BUY]

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