Mincer Ray – Fellow Traveler – LP Review

Mincer Ray – based in Germany who were originally reviewed just over a year ago – when they were a trio and now quartet – and featured in the New Year Ninety 2014 have a new LP scheduled for release.

Mincer Ray - Fellow Traveler - artwork

Mincer Ray – Fellow Traveler – artwork

The ten track LP Fellow Traveler, as befits Mincer Ray, is an eclectic mix of moods which opens with I Sold My Soul To The Man & Now I Feel Ashamed a track with a title almost as long as the seventy seconds of music – a garagey lo-fi production sets the scene for the release.

A Pickaxe From My Mom is a fuzzy fast paced number an a song that highlights the humour of the musicians along with a catchy-hook that gets the head nodding in time. This I like very much.

Backwards Walkin’ is a strangely addictive country acoustic number in which Mincer Ray play with the formula to raise a smile for all those who hear it.

Great Tunk National Park brings in another mood completely as the band head off to a superbly rippling bass-line prior to heading to a collision of instruments and for its very chaotic nature this is worth getting hold of a copy of the LP for this track alone.

Closing out the first half of Fellow Traveler is Non-Denominational & Friendly which gives the band the opportunity to almost play it straight, though not quite, in a piece that flows from the saintly to the abstruse.

Bassmaster is of a different animal altogether as Mincer Ray head back to territory in which they excel with a fuzzy even paced psychedelic rock number, which shows the musicians in a completely different light, as they bring in sensitivity to the track.

Grand Tunk Plastic Lake again plays as a more serious composition and the combinations of sounds is an example of how the band are not only about enjoying making music, but they have the ability to write songs with complex interplay. My pick of the release as the droning metronomic bass is showered with sparks of gently interspersed melody, whilst percussion scatters in the background.

The Daily Motion + Arctic Drift is a melodramatic fast paced, almost military marching with a relentless driving beat until suddenly slowing to a funereal pace as the track closes out, giving the whole composition a poignancy.

Couch Neighbor Catherine is the longest piece on the track at just over five minutes in which the vocal is pushed to the fore in a surreal track.

Closing out My Fellow Traveler which is very much an LP of two halves is Das Grüne Tor that once again brings in the theme of crossed beat and melody. It is the ability of the band to switch things around both with ease and appropriately which makes their material something to look forward to, particularly as anticipating what will appear, is always a toss of a coin.

Not a band who will instantly engage those who are looking for straight up music, but, for those who like to explore the recesses there are few finer exponents than Mincer Ray.

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