Mouth — Floating
(Tonzonen TON 037, 2018, CD / LP)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-02-13
This Cologne band pays unabashed tribute to the music of the 70s without sounding completely derivative. They do this by mixing together a variety of period influences into a basic style that they work within. The group is the trio of Christian Koller (guitar), Gerald Kirsch (bass), and Nick Mavridis (drums), with both Koller and Mavridis contributing keyboards and occasional vocals. Listening to the music without reference to the credits, a listener could well come to the conclusion that there’s a full-time keyboard player, and even that the keyboardist is the main composer — textures from organ and synths are the dominant sounds in many of the tracks. The music is predominantly instrumental, and the varieties of vintage prog they favor are not the elaborate, complex creations of Gentle Giant or Yes, but the more groove oriented parts of Pink Floyd, Eloy, and Hawkwind. When Koller breaks out the wah-wah, I’m reminded of Uriah Heep. There’s a heavy dose of 60s psychedelia in the blend as well, though filtered through a 70s lens, with bits of sitar and harpsichord in the opening track. The song “Reversed” even features a chorus about “King Midas in Reverse,” though that seems to be the only resemblance to the classic Hollies track. Koller’s guitar work is good throughout, including some great trippy solos with heavy use of effects. Overdubs are used liberally, with multiple guitar parts in addition to the keyboards and rhythm section. From checking out live videos, the band favors a more stripped-down sound in a concert setting, but that doesn’t detract from the quality of this studio album. Floating is good fun for fans of classic sounds, sophisticated in execution if not compositional techniques, and immensely entertaining.
Related artist(s): Mouth
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