Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Music Review: MERCURY REV, Boces, RW #1, 1993

The first appearance of a young Muggsy McMurphy. This review was published in Reglar Wiglar #1 in 1993. By Reglar Wiglar and Muggsy McMurphy standards, this review was epic in length. Record reviews would never be this long again. In 2013, a much older Muggsy winces at his gushing fanboy praise and unjaded enthusiasm. That enthusiasm and spirit for writing about music would soon be crushed forever.

Boces (Columbia)
I am not a fact checker for several reasons, laziness being the biggest one with apathy running a very close second. What I know of Mercury Rev is that they are five persons who formed a band in Buffalo, New York about three years ago and that they named said band, Mercury Rev for whatever reason inspired them at the time. Since their inception and even before they could put out their first record, guitarist Jonathan "Dingus" Donahue took an 18 month sojourn to God-knows-where to record and tour with the Flaming Lips, whose In a Priest Driven Ambulance album was produced by Rev bassist Dave Fridmann. With Donahue's return to his former band, came the release of Yerself is Steam which is 90% ass kickin. The Flaming Lips managed to use Donahue for two more albums and Mercury Rev used him for one more, the recently released Boces, which as far as I can tell is Secob spelled backwards. Boces is 95% really cool.

The most economical way to describe Boces is: ten songs of varying length. However, being unemployed allows me the luxury of being a little more gracious with my praise; these guys are fab, hip and fairly rad.

Boces starts with "Meth of a Rockette's Kick" which is an epic song reminding me in some strange way of Lou Reed's Street" Hassle", not so much in content but in narrative structure. Whoah! But all analyzation aside, listen to this song after a blunt and you just might lose your mind for ten minutes and 28 seconds.

"Bronx Cheer" is the hook hit of the record and it's a good one, it is, dare I say it: cute. I've seen the video on the mostly impotent Alternative Nation and it was quite groovy. "Downs are Feminine Balloons" and "Snorry Mouth" are a couple other extra long songs that pop brain cells with no prejudice.

If you like the Flaming Lips you are sure to groove on this, it is very similar. Drug references and psychedelic lyrics and everything else is the very obvious comparison (but let us not endorse such activities in a public forum). The guitar work is a little less crazed than Wayne Coyne's or Donahue's when he's with the Lips but more controlled guitar playing inhibits them not, my friends, it's still cerebellum toaster quality. There are also more backing vocals and crazy flipped out flutes and horns and shit like that with Mercury Rev for which I am a sucker. And if you like women's breasts you will no doubt enjoy the promo poster that accompanies the first album. Boobs seem to Be a long-standing theme in a comparatively short career for Mercury Rev. One of the memberS of Mercury Rev is a woman so don't you be so quick to call them pigs, besides, like Playboy pictorials, the covers are done very tastefully and no compromising positions are assumed.

In essence, I think the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev should not be viewed as simply two bands that sound a lot like each other, but rather, view them as two sister bands seeking to do the same thing with their music which is? I will not be so presumptuous. Buy everything they've done and do in the future and you will have invested wisely in some seriously, beautifully strange stuff–Muggsy McMurphy


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