Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Art of the Cover - The Moles' "Flashbacks and Dream Sequences: The Story of the Moles" (2014)

Nice artwork here ... psychedelic baby, yeahhhhh!!

An array of sadly neglected music now thankfully sees light of day in this sublime collection.

Yap, Fire Records’ reissue campaigns, are really on a roll lately. Fresh from the incredible When the Lemonheads Were Punk! collection, the label's unleashing a gem on an unsuspecting world in the form of The Moles’ entire recorded output!

The Moles were an Australian chamber-pop band led by Richard Davies, a gifted singer/songwriter who later found success on American soil both as a solo artist and as one half of the short-lived duo Cardinal.

The double-CD / 52-track collection "Flashbacks and Dream Sequences: The Story of the Moles" will be released on June 3rd.

For the purpose of this compilation, “The Moles” refers to two distinct but related projects. The first is a Sydney-based band fronted by chamber-pop/baroque pop luminary Richard Davies that was active for a short time in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The second is the solo project Davies launched shortly after that band broke up. 

The first Moles brought a uniquely fraught and cinematic sensibility to the Oceanian indie pop tradition honed by bands like the Bats and the Chills. The second Moles built psychedelic chamber-pop collages whose rich arrangements seemed perpetually at odds with the inescapable sense of isolation and bareness they evoked. 

This comprehensive reissue collects the complete works of both Moles, reserving one LP for each incarnation’s sole album-length release and appending the rest of the first Moles’ output on CD.

Neither the band nor Richard Davies are exactly household names but like their roster-mates Archers of Loaf, Spacemen 3 and The Garbage and The Flowers, they never were. Nevertheless, than band's output is of great quality and import - and greatly influential.

And, with Fire’s penchant for taking an inordinate amount of care with the records they release, the listener is always assured of the highest measure of quality.

If you’re in anyway interested in the development of psychedelia in the 1990s, this record is a must-have. If you’re a fan of Spiritualized and/or Spacemen 3, it’s practically essential. This all-encompassing release cannot – and should not – be digested in one sitting, unless you’re sufficiently ‘relaxed,’ in which case it most certainly should be. 
Spending time with the Moles makes you realise how staggering bands you’ve never heard of can be. Of course, this isn’t the first career-collecting release from The Moles – 2003’s On The Street was the original assemblage of Davies’ tunes, but it’s unlikely that you own that either. 
But "Flashbacks and Dream Sequences" leaves the listener with two questions and two answers: is this one of the best reissues to come from Fire? Definitely. Is this one of the best reissues this decade? You betcha.


Side 1
1. "Wires"
2. "Accidental Saint"
3. "Rich Man"
4. "Curdle"

Side 2
1. "Surf's Up"
2. "Europe By Car"
3. "Bury Me Happy"
4. "Nailing Jesus To The Cross"

Side 3
1. "Minor Royal March"
2. "Eros Lunch"
3. "Already In Black"
4. "Instinct"
5. "Cars For Kings Cross"

Side 4
1. "Cassie Peek"
2. "Raymond, Did You See The Red Queen?"
3. "Treble Metal"
4. "The Crasher"

Side 5
1. "Wires"
2. "Accidental Saint"
3. "Rich Man"
4. "Curdle"
5. "Surf's Up"
6. "Europe By Car"
7. "Bury Me Happy"
8. "Nailing Jesus To The Cross"
9. "Minor Royal March"
10. "Eros Lunch"
11. "Already In Black"
12. "Instinct"
13. "Cars For Kings Cross"
14. "Cassie Peek"
15. "Raymond, Did You See The Red Queen?"
16. "Treble Metal"
17. "The Crasher"

Side 6
1. "Tendrils & Paracetamol"
2. "This Is A Happy Garden"
3. "Breathe Me In"
4. "Lonely Hearts Get What They Deserve"
5. "What's The New Mary Jane"
6. "Going Down"
7. "Saint Jack"
8. "Lets Hook Up & Get Some"
9. "Propeller"
10. "With Body Wifes Seven Days"
11. "The Crown Souls"
12. "Rebecca"
13. "Rich Man" (original mix)
14. "Drink Talking"
15. "Bury Me Happy" (early version)
16. "Flex"
17. "We Need An Electric Guitar"
18. "Mystery Song"

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