Pygmy Lush - Mount Hope
Record Label: Lovitt
Release Date: July 29, 2008
Even before you’ve heard a note of Pygmy Lush’s astonishing Mount Hope, you should notice how directly and intentionally opposite its name is from last year’s Bitter River. And, using your detective skills, you ought to be able to figure out that the group has chosen a slightly new direction for their music. Don’t worry - the guys haven’t packed up their knack for striking a raw nerve and converted to contemporary Christian rock, but they have shed some skin as far as pace and aggression are concerned. Here the guys have settled into their folkier, almost comatose songwriting impulses with no random bursts of pg99 or Blood Brothers to offset the trance that they know so well how to conduct.
Although the variety of Bitter River was my initial attention-getter in discovering the band, I was not at all let down by the newer more direct sound. Trust me – it’s still plenty weird. “Butch’s Dream” ventures into rockabilly territory (although it’s the creepiest rockabilly you’ll ever hear of course). It’s a little bit like Bitter River’s “Throw the Jockey” except more serious, like the group’s mindset had changed from “What if” to “This is what we do.”
Songs like “Asphalt” remind you just how powerful simple music can be. The track is a really bleak choice as an opener, but about 99% of Pygmy Lush’s songs would have the same effect so I guess there’s really no point in considering sequential order. But “Asphalt” in particular is the kind of song that will make you pick up your guitar and make your own stay-in-your-room-forever ballads.
Simplicity is the key throughout the whole album. There’s nothing flashy to contrast the slow-driving arpeggios and lightly strummed guitars, not on this disc. On Bitter River, the group must have felt like they had something to prove by shoving bombastic punk tunes into the tracklist - they wanted to show that they still could. But here they’re comfortable enough with their direction that there’s no need for any of that stuff... it just is what it is. And it is awesome.
You can definitely still tell that this is folk rock in the hands of people who’ve played other genres (by which I mean it’s willfully unauthentic), but Pygmy Lush’s movement into purely reflective music was pretty logical and the music is well done. The album does not find the group moving in a hopeful direction – their Myspace tagline remains “Slurp Shit and Die” – but the guys have trimmed the directionlessness to a minimum, focusing their songwriting and taking one step closer toward “classifiable music.”
I bet I could sum up the entire review w/out reading...
"I saw Mike's rec w/ 10 pages, listened, decided I needed cred and their name was hard enough to pronounce. Listened to the first song, skipped the rest, looked up Bitter River on Rateyourmusic, found out it's more "chaotic" and compared.
just really big fans/overly protective I guess. Like having that hot little sister you don't want to see hang with the wrong boy.
I don't know, pg 99 did a lot for a genre/kids making music today. For many, that band stood for something real/serious at a time. It wasn't some joke, granted albeit fun live shows, but the lyrics weren't just some gag. Pygmy Lush might be a totally different 360 in terms of music/style, but still these dudes are hard working and hard touring. Sorry to come of harsh, just really into them.
cool thanks for being total dickheads. i dunno if you noticed, but i loved this cd. this is one of my favorite bands and i'd say 88% is a really high score. dont read my reviews if youre gonna be a cock about it. i know you're so indie you can't take someone liking something you like...
So which one do you like better overall? I finally got around to ordering Bitter River off of Robotic Empire since that was mostly what they played when I saw them live. However I do plan on ordering Mount Hope within a month or two.