Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Moles - Untune The Sky

The Moles' Untune The Sky, one of the great lost albums of the 90s, has been reissued as a limited edition 2 LP set by Kill Shamen records. The set looks to be a straight reissue of the Flydaddy CD that was released back in 1999 that included the entire 1991 LP, plus the 2 X 7" single that was released on Ringers Lactate in 1992.

Untune The Sky was almost impossible to find in the U.S. upon its original release, and the Ringers Lactate single was not much easier to come by. I did find a copy of the single, but then I was working at Kim's Underground at the time, and I bought one of maybe three copies that came in (the other two no doubt also snagged by employees).

This is an essential release for fans of retro 60s psychedelic pop, as well as devotees of Kiwi pop (though the Moles hailed from Australia). Even at this early stage in his career, bandleader and primary songwriter Richard Davies had a sharp ear for melody. The production and arrangements are less elaborate than those of his seminal duo Cardinal or his solo work, but they have a certain ragged charm missing from his later work.

"Bury Me Happy" the lead off cut from the album (at least on the reissue) to my ears has much in common with the experimental indie-pop of New Zealanders like The Clean, while "What's The New Mary Jane" takes Davies' pop-psych songwriting to the next level. It takes cojones to nick a title from Lennon-McCartney, but The Moles pull it off. Great as this version is, it compares unfavorably to my memory of Davies performing the song live with the Flaming Lips as his backup band.

If you don't have a turntable, the Flydaddy CD can still be found used and I highly recommend it.

No comments: