Saturday, 19 March 2011

Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love

Connan Mockasin
Forever Dolpin Love

Weird is always good, crazy even better. It helps with building legends and a fan base. Connan and the Mockasins (or Connan Mockasin) are a 3 piece from Wellington New Zealand, who have recently arrived on our green and pleasant shores and have a new album out to present to the world. Forever Dolphin Love is the album and it's one that I chose after reading a little about the group themselves and then decided with the quickly approaching summer just around the seasonal corner that some great quirky psych pop would be just the tonic to the winter of discontent cold electro and "back to basics" acoustic twaddle currently filling the Radio 1 playlist. While reviewing the album in question and the more I delved into the music itself, upon repeat listens it is starting to divide my opinion on an almost hourly basis. Has the emperor really got new clothes on? Each track has been treated to various effects and studio trickery which although enhances some of the music does sometimes push the vocals especially into a big “in” joke on the behalf of the band over the audience. As a Zappa fan I like the occasional chipmunk-like falsetto voice as much as the next freak, but on every song? There are some great moments within, such as the track (and I believe first release) 'It’s Choade My Dear' which takes a Flaming Lips template and runs with it achieving fantastic results. As the album progresses along it seems to lose pace, although still keeps the creativity and envelope pushing goals, yet sometimes forgets to worry about the actual songwriting side of things. That said it does constantly bring something new to the table and is at the very least trying to do something new and interesting with the form.

The running order of the album segues the tracks into one another, rather than any stops and starts, which is a nice touch especially when listening to it on headphones as it does it's best to take you on a musical journey rather than the standard jukebox style running order and with songs like 'Quadropuss Island', 'Muss' and the frankly pointless 'Grampa Moff' all clocking in well under the 2 minute 30 seconds mark (the latter only managing a 25 seconds are more like mini themes rather than songs or even extended intros. Taking the mini songs out of the equation you also have the jazz odyssey of the title track 'Forever Dolphin Love' which borders on full on Live At Pompeii Pink Floyd although depending which side of the fence you sit concerning "progression" is it a good or bad thing?

The album finishes with the Syd Barrett reminder 'Please Turn Me Into The Snat' which is another highpoint and although in itself great, still leaves the listener thinking "too little too late" as for an album with only 10 tracks (surely a crime in itself in 2011) and wasting at least 2-3 of them with doodles of strumming sequences for there only to be minimal music that has a beginning, middle and end and with lyrics as well, seems a bit of a wasted opportunity for a band with as much potential as this one. File under confused.

Release Date: 21/03/11

'Originally posted on The 405'

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