On 17th May 2007 at 19:28 Dave LMS wrote...
I really like this album.
I tend to be a little wary of bands like Mumm-Ra, who take up instruments with the sole purpose of being in a band to pass the time - something all the members of this group admit to. What usually ensues is brash and a horrific mess of epic proportions. I'm sure a lot of people are equally as unsure, particularly with their new single, "She's Got You High", being at first glance so perfectly sugar-coated. The music snobbery absolutely must stop here! Mumm-Ra blow any unfair preconceptions entirely out of the water with their debut album, "These Things Move In Threes".
From the very first sublime opening phrases in "Now Or Never", you know this is going to be good. Every single song on this album is a beautifully crafted, gleaming pop song. Before even one listen the hooks are entirely sing-able; not because they are blunt and basic, but rather because they are supremely well written. Some of the vocal lines are a bit rough and ready, not sounding as though they've had a lot of takes put into them, but this merely adds to the charm of the record.
A wistful, quaint air dominates each track and ridiculous though this will appear to any first time listeners, Mumm-Ra's home town of Bexhill-On-Sea plays an important part in the record. The ghost of the waves and the twee atmosphere of the town seem so heavily present that it's very difficult to be convinced that ambient noises of Bexhill aren't a sound bed for the album.
Particularly worth a listen as an introduction to Mumm-Ra's material are "Song B" - whose fantastic use of counterpoint between the multi-tracked vocal lines and the trumpet and constant feel and tempo changes are utterly brilliant - and "What Would Steve Do?", which is a perfect example of the almost unattainable quality of timelessness and distance that also showcases some pretty impressive jangly guitar parts.
The closing track to the album, "Down Down Down", should provide any of the as-of-yet unconverted with concrete evidence that Mumm-Ra are not standard fare, being mature and exceedingly musically ambitious. It also leaves you with an overpowering feeling that you want - no, you need - to experience this album again. I don't know about the rest of you, but this is going in to my select collection of astounding albums and, trust me, will be played to death. This is a very promising debut from Mumm-Ra.