Dr. Mindflip delivers a hefty dose of sinister, hallucinogenic pop. Meanwhile in Ireland, Patrick McGlynn makes instruments, tea and mischief in large quantities. An advocate of open music sharing, Dr. Mindflip has released 4 completely free albums online via the prolific blocSonic label.
Many of the songs on “A Garden Of Fools”, Dr. Mindflip’s latest mini-album are very accessible, but the apparent simplicity is deceptive. Dr. Mindflip is strong on arrangements so expect many surprises. He mixes fast meter shifts, slashing guitar, stampeding piano runs, octave-spanning vocal hollers and some poetical lyrics.
This is a highly listenable album with very warm production and is simultaneously quite an outing in terms of the uniqueness of songwriting and musicianship involved. In spite of the unique nature of the music, there is nevertheless a catchiness and almost danceable quality to some of the songs. The rhythms are almost buoyant.
Dr. Mindflip’s vocal styling’s are great and you can’t help but notice his octave range from the very first song, “World of your own”. The song has one of the coolest rolling grooves ever, and you can do some sort of weird dance to it if you’ve got enough energy in your legs. The track also plays testimony to how super-tight this band is.
“Chest beater” delivers an avant-garde sounding, Mardi Gras pop arrangement mixed with a raw primal vocal feel, superb string and piano playing from the musicians, plus an underlying infectious energy. But it’s the final two songs that totally win me over. “Whole” is definitely my favorite song on the album. It’s got some lovely piano playing and a rhythm section that’s bizarre and fascinating both rolled into one. The sliding tempo changes, the gritty guitar edge and Dr. Mindflip’s brilliantly variegating vocal deliveries do the rest.
The key on “Precious” is to turn up the volume and listen to Dr. Mindflip and his band work. The whole track is full of intense, down-home sassiness with a no-let-up approach, which is followed by a winding down, acoustic-guitar tail-end, to make sure you catch your breath before slipping back into your normal daily routine.
What is most catchy about “A Garden Of Fools” is that the tracks are all very refined yet have an uncanny offhandedness about them. They just seem to ignite and then shuffle and move off in endless directions and pretty soon it doesn’t matter where they’re going, because you’re right up there behind the band.
Dr. Mindflip’s music features the perfect compromise between his enormously inventive arrangements and conventional music structures. “A Garden Of Fools” is a superb and successful attempt at combining unique and artistic songwriting with joyful listenability.