I really love this kind of music but it has to be the most difficult thing for the musicians themselves to pull of or to be lauded for. There has to be more bands playing psychedelic heavy, Black Sabbath/Blue Cheer rock than any other type of music and every single reviewer writes the same thing every single time; “It’s good but why listen to it when you have the originals at home” or “Good to drink beer to, but it’s no different than any other weed-toking, Sabbath-worshipping band out there.” This must be frustrating, to constantly have your efforts belittled and considered run-of-the-mill.
Forget about it and keep playing what you feel like. This music is as we all know not played if you crave instant critical applause, but merely for the love of it.
Mirage is not the typical album from this genre. Whereas most groups of this ilk opt for the slow, long distance run Melon decide to go for the sprint followed by a leisurely stroll to catch their breaths. They burn through the punky tunes and the rock 'n roll pulse raisers before topping the album with a couple of psychedelic and spaced out jams that bring to mind sitting outside and facing the sun while your shirt is perpetually glued to your torso due to the balmy and humid air.
When mentioning that the slow jams truly kick in for the last two songs, it isn’t meant to be taken as an explanation that up until then the album sounds more generic and straightforward. There are plenty of surprises baked in throughout and Melon are not afraid of slowing down mid-song to loosen their limbs with slower, psychedelic sections.
“My Lackadaisical Mountain” is a good starter to this short but sharp collection of songs. It has a great swagger to it, a solid driving beat along with some sharp guitar riffs that sets the tone for the record. The use of unexpected influences is used not to show off, but because it is well thought and deemed right for the moment. The use of a vibraphone on the album opener is a prime example of that but there are plenty more. The singer has a great voice that fits all the styles used on Mirage just right. On “Huffin’ Gas on a Tuesday Night” he even flexes the vocal chords to deliver some deep grunge-type wailing witch fits in tightly with the parts that carry an Alice in Chain-like groove.
Mirage could have done with being a few songs longer. It is certainly good enough to warrant more listens so next time there will hopefully be even more indulgence in styles then this time round. It will certainly not be unpleasant to partake of sound bites like the experimental, slow building “Cocytus”. As a starter however, it’s definitely good enough.
7.0 / 10
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