Exposé Online banner

Soft Hearted Scientists — Uncanny Tales from the Everyday Undergrowth (Expanded Edition)
(The Hip Replacement HIP REP 008, 2005/2016, 2CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-02-14

Uncanny Tales from the Everyday Undergrowth (Expanded Edition) Cover art

There is something endearing about the Soft Hearted Scientists, be it their name, their label name, their vocal harmonies, their whimsical songs, their catchy melodies, etc. I’ve been a fan ever since my first exposure to them via Fruits de Mer. Uncanny Tales from the Everyday Undergrowth is the tenth anniversary reissue of their debut album. Five of the twelve songs on the album were rereleased in 2013 on FdM’s massive vinyl set Whatever Happened to the Soft Hearted Scientists (“Mount Palomar,” “Wendigo,” “Brother Sister,” “The Yongy Bongy Bo,” and “At Night the Quarry Glows Like a Mothership”). All twelve songs on Uncanny Tales from the Everyday Undergrowth are psychedelic pop visions of Victorian fantasies. These are not the sword and sorcery themes we find in Death Metal, but instead gentle leitmotifs suggesting ideas from authors like Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, William Morris, and Lord Dunsany. The songs are well constructed, arranged, and performed with just the right blend of acoustic instruments and subtle electronics. And to make this anniversary reissue a bit more special, there is a second CD of demos arranged in the same order as the album, so the bonus CD could be viewed as a complete demo of the original album. The songs on the demo disc are a bit raw, warts and all, but they capture the evolution from early versions to the finished product. If you have not yet experienced the Soft Hearted Scientist, this reissue is an excellent place to immerse yourself in this Welsh band’s unique musical view.


Filed under: Reissues, 2016 releases, 2005 recordings

Related artist(s): Soft Hearted Scientists, Nathan Hall / Sinister Locals

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Attrition - All Mine Enemys Whispers: The Story of Mary Ann Cotton – There is a persistent case to be made for metaphoric musics deriving from literary sources, even as such practice now belongs more and more to the tattered remnants of the Romantic era. Dark...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues