Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Moles - "Untune the Sky" (1991/1999 Flydaddy Reissue) & "Instinct" (1994)

This is a great, sadly neglected Australian psychedelic pop album. Seemingly influenced equally by Velvet Underground and Brian Wilson (note: the bonus track Surf's Up is not the Beach Boys song), The Moles on this album take you on a trip that is pure pop bliss. From the opening track, Bury Me Happy, which would have been a massive hit in a just universe, to the album's harrowing closer (well, for such blissful pop anyway) Nailing Jesus to the Cross and all that lies in between, we are treated to probably the best unknown album of 1991.
Tacked on to the end are a couple tracks from their Aussie-only 12" of Tendrils and Paracetamol and the complete "What's the New Mary Jane" EP, the title track being a staple of The Flaming Lips' mid-90's live set which is, incidentally, how I was turned on to this band. Wayne Coyne often prefaced the song with the tale of how they heard it between sets at a club somewhere and inquired as to who the hell that was you just played and their subsequent search for the then (and once again) hard-to-find Moles records.
Get it HERE.

01. Bury Me Happy
02. Tendrils and Paracetamol
03. This is a Happy Garden
04. Breathe Me In
05. Lonely Hearts Get What They Deserve
06. The Crown Souls
07. Rebecca
08. Europe by Car
09. Curdle
10. Wires
11. Nailing Jesus to the Cross
12. Accidental Saint
13. Rich Man [original mix]
14. Surf's Up
15. What's the New Mary Jane
16. Going Down
17. Saint Jack
18. Let's Hook Up and Get Some

This second (and last) full Moles LP, from '94, is basically a solo album of bandleader Richard Davies, the band apparently having broken up after the EP. This is a natural progression from the psych-pop of the first LP to the nascent chamber pop which Mr. Davies had a big hand in starting. He also released the genre's acknowledged masterpiece, "Cardinal", as Cardinal with Eric Matthews. But I prefer this one. It's short, sharp and sweet. It's perfect.
Get it HERE.

01. Minor Royal March
02. Eros Lunch (1963)
03. Already In Black
04. Instinct
05. Cars for King's Cross
06. Cassie Peak
07. Raymond, Did You See the Red Queen
08. Treble Metal
09. Crasher

This album also features The Moles' fiercest rocker, Already In Black, which you can see below in a video from '95 I shot of Mr. Davies backed up by the aforementioned Flaming Lips at a CMJ show at Brownies in NYC.
Check out this video: Already In Black (Richard Davies w/ Flaming Lips


Ariel said...

Thanks! This is brilliant stuff; and such textural variety too. A fair bit of it sounds quite reminiscent of the Chills at their peak. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of them! How does Richard Davies’ solo work compare to these albums?

Peter said...

Glad you like! I agree with the Chills comparison; I've really been enjoying that massive rarities set, thanks!
As for the RD solo stuff...his first album has a couple good ones on it, but I prefer the Cardinal stuff. Have you heard their (only) album? Even if you have I've got a super-rare reissue (500 numbered) from the UK with tons of bonus tracks I'll post in the next day or two...

Ariel said...

That would be excellent, thanks! I haven't heard the Cardinal album.

Rom said...

Thanks for this one !

Jim said...

Untune The Sky wasn't just overlooked... I remember there being about 50 remaindered copies sitting in the bins of RedEye reconds in Sydney for a dollar each.