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The Solar Hi Fi System by Misty's Big Adventure

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Reviewed on 1st September 2004.

 
 

The Solar Hi Fi System

By Misty's Big Adventure

Here it is folks, the single most bizarre CD I've ever come across. Musically, it's impossible to label, as they have so many different guises and sounds on this record that you lose yourself trying to second guess where the album is going to go next. Basically, there's nine of them, playing everything from 'egg whisker' to 'dancing and beatboxing'. Thrown into this wonderful melting pot are trumpets, guitars, drums, pianos, and basically anything that can fit in a studio.

Leader of the clan is 'Grandmaster Gareth', and with the help of members of Bentley Rhythm Ace and Pram, they have crafted an album of pure, untainted joy. The harmonies are golden, the playing is great and the tunes are lovingly uplifting, funny and happy. I defy you to find a better song this year than the 50-second tour de force that is 'Home Taping's Killing Music', which features the lines - "The tape gets passed around / and it's on twenty cassettes / then my friends all save money / and spend it all on cigarettes". Genius.

Occasionally though, they get bogged down with so many contrasting ideas and sounds that the end result becomes a bit of a mess, but for the most part, they get it right. Take single 'Cool With A Capital C', which, besides being achingly melodic, is surprisingly catchy and a damn fine stab at summery pop. And that's exactly what this is, pop- not the over sexed dross skewed in a studio by faceless producers, which sadly makes up for most pop music these days, but carved from a love of all things shiny, happy and up beat.

The humourous lyrics don't detract from the brilliantly lo-fi feel of the music, and the deep, dulcet vocals match the beautifully messed up smorgasbord of weird noise and fucked up mayhem that envelopes every second of this album.

And for every guy that was ever screwed over by a girl, then 'A Dog Like You' will become an instant classic. And not just for the dog bark scratching. Brilliant!

If you'd like to try something different, then I suggest you start here.

 

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