KICKING DOWN THE DOOR
ON THE MOVE
ETERNITY (DUB MIX)
In an age of haircut bands and Arctic Monkeys-coattail-chasing, it’s sometimes good to remember that bands like The Mighty Redox are out there, oblivious to such fashion whimsies. In fact, other than singer Sue Smith’s occasional worrying tendency to sing like Smeegle out of Lord Of The Rings, most of the past 30 years seem to have passed them by. While The Mighty Redox’s debut album, ‘Bullaburra’ stopped in at every musical port from north African folk to Cajun dance, ‘On The Move’, is rather more parochial, preferring to jam it out in southern-fried roadhouse funkblues style, occasionally succumbing to a spiked drink and heading spaceward, as on ‘Dan Dakker’, with its oddly chanted vocals, or ‘MTV’, with Phil Freizinger’s treated flute. ‘Dancing Days’, meanwhile, takes a misty-eyed trip back to 50s prom night rock’n’roll but ends up sounding rather more like ‘Tiger Feet’ by Mud. Paradoxically, what we like most about The Mighty Redox is when Sue gets all witchy, like a ham actor from an old 50s mediaeval b-movie and goes off on her druid gothic apocalyptic poetry thing, as on ‘Eternity’. It borders on toe-curling on the one hand and reminds us horribly of Mother Gong, but equally it’s so silly there’s no other bugger out there willing to do it, which means it’s about eleventy-six times better than The Courteeners or Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong or whichever heap of fifteenth-rate Libertines rip off crap the music industry is trying to hoist on us this month. So hats off to the hippies – the day they start caring what everyone else thinks will be a sad day indeed.
‘ON THE MOVE ‘
The Mighty Redox’s debut album lands on the doormat the same day Glastonbury is almost washed into the sea by torrential storms. Appropriate really, since they’re exactly the sort of band you might expect to stumble across while a little worse for wear at 3 in the morning, in some forgotten corner of the Green Field.
Formed by Phil Freizinger and Sue Smith, the couple behind Klub Kakofanney and veterans, we suspect, of a great many festivals and magic mushroom trips over the years, The Mighty Redox pack in all the ingredients of a lost-in-space-and-time hippy band: from Phil’s playful flute excursions on ‘Love Is There’, to Sue’s unearthly Mother Gong-like whooping and shrieking on the album’s title track; from the cod-reggae grooves of ‘Free’ to the world funk rhythms that underpin much of the album, and a good few wistful guitar solos besides.
As such the album can be either gently uplifting in an uncaringly summery way, or nail-bitingly spiritual in a pagan earth mother manner. Certainly the lyrical content of songs like ‘Blood’ and ‘Free’ tend toward the latter, and only the most stoned of 70s throwbacks could endure the loose jam session that is ‘Feeling’s Right’, but The Mighty Redox can then hit you with a cracker like ‘Bullabura itself: part barn dance hoedown, part ska skank, part space rock ritual with a nagging chorus that’s utterly infectious. A crazy little pop song; here’s where the party should really begin.
TMR’s most endearing feature is their unselfconscious retro vibe and shameless pillaging of every style and period of music to suit their holistic view – from Canned Heat to Ozric Tentacles via a Jamaican beach party.
Just remember to pack a little mind-altering something for moral support.