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Stereo Musicale

Blind Mr. Jones

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Album Review

Tegner's flute leads off the opening notes of Stereo's first track, the instrumental "Sisters," a good way of demonstrating what helps them stand out from the early '90s U.K. shoegazing crowd. Blind Mr. Jones' fusion of fuzzblast and melancholy Cure-inspired undercurrents continues to serve them in good stead on the quintet's full debut record, and though the album is not a truly great one, it's definitely very good. Not much immediately distinguishes them from their contemporaries per se — they lack the hushed gravitas of Slowdive or Chapterhouse's increasing embrace of technological means to achieve similar ends. But with what they've got, they know how to kick up a storm more often than not, while Tegner adds a lovely element of pastoralism and sweet performance to temper the din. James Franklin's lead and Richard Moore's rhythm guitars do the rest of the skybound business quite nicely, while Teversham's bass and John White's drums keep the pace going well enough (Teversham in particular betrays his Simon Gallup/Peter Hook playing roots more than once). If Teversham's lyrics aren't much beyond general blissout romance, they at least suit the songs, which often do more with the sentiments than the singing, which is not always as strong here as on the earlier EPs. Nearly everything on Stereo will be manna to shoegazing fanatics, but all-around standouts appear as well. "Regular Disease" has a particularly strong guitar line mixed with a lovely wash of effects, while the appropriately paced "Unforgettable Waltz" and the quietly triumphant feeling of the final, untitled bonus track. One interesting touch is the low-key but still striking cover version halfway through — "Lonesome Boatman," a neo-Celtic folk classic from 1980 by the Furey Brothers. Tegner's flute perfectly suits its haunting feeling, while White's percussion further adds to the overall atmosphere.

Biography

Formed: Marlow, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Presumably taking their name from the first two songs on Talking Heads' Naked and jokingly referred to as the Jethro Tull of shoegazing for their frequent use of flute, Blind Mr. Jones formed in the early '90s in Marlow, England, quickly becoming regarded as a young band to keep an eye on. Guitarist James Franklin, guitarist/vocalist Richard Moore, flautist Jon Tegner, bassist/vocalist Will Teversham, and drummer Jon White comprised the band, starting out privately in their teens by aping bands like...
Full Bio
Stereo Musicale, Blind Mr. Jones
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