Saturday, July 30, 2011

Indie Artist Feature: The Moles- The Future Sounds of Ashton (2010) MP3 & FLAC

From Brin Davies of The Moles:

"The album began as a fantasy recording project between me and Billy [Fuller] our bass player, inspired by our love of the Rubble uk psych comps. We threw the gauntlet down and set ourselves the target of writing and recording a song once a week. It was also a useful way for me to exorcise whatever ghosts I was dealing with in my job; I run a psychiatric admissions ward. We ended up doing this for a year or so until we morphed the project into a full band [....] most of the press we received focused on the 'English whimsy tag; I've always been a bit narked by this and see it as a much more neurotic affair. It's for this reason I don't feel it necessary to do the Bandcamp thing; I'm more interested in giving it a good send off."

(La) luna Review:

The term "psychedelic" literally translates from ancient Greek as "soul-manifesting," suggesting a (sometimes ecstatic, sometimes meditative) state of mental experience (often drug-induced) that allows for a sense of freedom or liberation from the intricate web of conventions/assumptions/expectations that rigidly govern every aspect of our conscious perceptions and experiences of the world. As such, the influence of psychedelia on artistic pursuits such as music and visual media has often been portrayed, quite reductively, as amounting to little more than escapism and fantasy.  And while there certainly are aspects of this cultural phenomenon that can be adequately defined by such terms, psychedelia also has a darker, chaotic side reflecting an experience of the incomprehensible abyss lying just beyond the flimsy trappings of society and the illusion society fosters of the normative psyche (or "soul"). It is this darker side of the psychedelic experience that The Moles explore on The Future Sounds of Ashton, which, while certainly owing a debt to late sixties psychedelic icons such as Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, bears the imprint of more obscure inspirations such as mid-sixties-era Garage-Rock as documented on the Rubble and Nuggets comps and the harrowing psychic journeys of singer-songwriters such as Skip Spence and Bill Fay. However, what also distinguishes The Moles' brand of psych-rock is the healthy dose of Punk and Post-Punk attitude the band infuses it with, giving the songs a claustrophobic grit often missing in the work of other psych-rock revivalists.  The album's opener, the title track, is a perfect example of this, as it almost suggests what Johnny Rotten would have sounded like sitting in for Syd Barrett on "Astronomy Domine." With Fuller's pulsing bass setting the pace for Davies' almost chanted vocals, the song is an absolute burner that is beautifully fleshed out by the Pink Floyd-style vocal harmonies that punctuate the melody. Another move on The Future Sounds of Ashton that sets The Moles apart is the inclusion of songs such as "Three Ghosts in My House," which is insistently memorable because of its use of dynamics; by intertwining the kind of psych-influenced singer-songwriter material mentioned earlier with occasional blasts of the formidable aural attack that characterizes many of the album's other songs, The Moles create a stunning centerpiece to an album that more than stands on its own as a fine piece of psych-rock, but also leaves the listener highly anticipating the interesting and less familiar avenues the band might take on its next album. Here's to hoping the music continues to wear its neuroses proudly and powerfully.

The Future Sounds of Ashton  
(See Monkey Do Monkey ~ 2010)

 1. The Future Sound of Ashton (3:53)
 2. Magnets 'Round the Sun  (3:21)
 3. Stuck Like Glue  (2:57)
 4. It's Snowing Again  (3:16)
 5. The Combined Forces of an Atom  (3:41)
 6. Fuller's Dram  (3:01)
 7. Neptune's Beard  (4:41)
 8. Ginger Tom  (3:44)
 9. Infinite Lights  (4:00)
10. Frontiers of Astronome  (3:28)
11. Brain Garden  (2:34)
12. The Mysterious End of Friend No. 2?  (4:12)
13. Places to Go  (4:19)
14. Three Ghosts in My House  (3:13)
15. Cuckoo  (2:19)


  1. Okay two observations; The lead singer looks just like a friend of mine from about 10 years ago. Hard to get past that. And the album review, either you are a gifted listener or you are making it all up just to see if anybody is reading your reviews! So to find out which it is, I am going to give this band a try and I will get back to you. Thanks Mr. V.

  2. scurf, are those the only choices? Seriously though, I meant every word.

  3. Beautiful review! My interest is peeked. Looking forward to giving this a listen.

  4. ana, thank you. Let me know what you think of the album


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