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Deserter's Songs (Instrumental Version)

Mercury Rev

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Album Review

Deserter's Songs: Instrumental is basically for anyone who felt like they couldn't get enough of a good thing. While the original album was remixed, remastered, and otherwise fooled with to fine effect, it appears that this this set — which mirrors the original song for song — is literally the same recording sans the voices. Deserter's Songs was the album on which Mercury Rev lost its trademark, mischievous, and occasionally anarchic sense of humor, and became more ambitious musically. They focused less on adventurous — if sometimes unprofessionally performed — music and more on a traditional symphonic pop framework and Dave Fridmann's growing studio prowess, which one can hear without the interruption of the human voice, his Theremin and Mellotron, Suzanne Thorpe's flute, Jonathan Donahue's chamberlain strings, guest Rachel Handman's violins, as well as brass, vibraphones, and Grasshopper's woodwinds.

Biography

Formed: Buffalo, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Not so much a band as a long, strange trip, the chaotic avant pop pranksters Mercury Rev formed in Buffalo, NY, in the late '80s. Originally comprised of vocalist David Baker, vocalist/silver pickup guitarist Jonathan Donahue, guitar shaper/single-exhaust clarinetist Grasshopper (born Sean Mackowiak), rooster-tail bass flutist Suzanne Thorpe, bass explorer Dave Fridmann, and mojo stick drummer Jimy Chambers, the sextet — always rife with personality conflicts — interacted with one another...
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