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The Blue Trees

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Album Review

The Blue Trees shows Gorky's Zygotic Mynci taking a giant leap toward maturity. Having started out like their Welsh peers Super Furry Animals as neo-psychedelic, rambunctious jangle pop merchants, the band here takes a folk turn toward elegiac tunes praising the four seasons and nature. With subtle, rolling guitars, sometimes sounding as if they're being played by Leo Kottke himself, the band mines a similar territory as Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour of Bewilderbeast. But The Blue Trees doesn't strive toward pop sensibilities or languish in tired instrumentals like Bewilderbeast. Sure, these eight songs are appropriately memorable and melodic and there are more than a few instrumentals, but all of the songs take on a quiet, contemplative air. There's simply not a drop of pretension to be found, as if every acoustic instrument is covered in a subtle dew. Perhaps things slow down too much on "Foot and Mouth," but the track would be worthy of inclusion on the score to any film with introspective scenes. "Wrong Turnings" seems infused with the spirit of Nick Drake; it paints a serene picture of rural bliss. The band picks up the pace on "Fresher Than the Sweetness in Water," while maintaining the grace of earlier tracks with the addition of what sounds like a mandolin and a violin (or fiddle). The Blue Trees is quite an accomplishment; it's a continuation of the maturity and grace found on Spanish Dance Troupe. Anyone who's written off Gorky's Zygotic Mynci might want to give this new-look band a second chance. The slow-burning songs of The Blue Trees are delicately serene and of a charmed beauty.

Biography

Formed: 1990

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Sounding like a bizarrely sweet and whimsical cross between progressive rock, psychedelia, and pure pop, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci were one of the most original and distinctive bands to emerge from the vital post-Brit-pop Welsh scene of the mid-'90s. Gorky's music followed unconventional time signatures and structures, as well as instrumentation (boasting everything from droning moog synthesizers to slurring trombones and steel guitars) and melodic patterns. Furthermore, the band's lyrics were rarely...
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