Album review of 'Snowflake Midnight' by Mercury Rev released through V2.
From its epic opening track, 'Snowflake In A Hot World', Mercury Rev deliver. They deliver grandiose harmonies. They deliver scurrilous, glitchy drum beats. They deliver ostentatious production and they deliver sublime melody. From a band that have seemingly been around since the dawn of time, it's a testament to their substantial talent that they are still here, still mining their own creativity and that they haven't been buried in the deluge of bands riding the crest of whatever new wave happens to pour forth from the washbasins of the media moguls.
Snowflake Midnight is a dense and textured work; it would sound equally at home performed in a concert hall, or a sweat-laced basement venue. 'October Sunshine', particularly, is two and a quarter minutes of sheer bliss: shut your eyes and direct your own movie, the soundtrack is there for the taking. Somewhat schizophrenically, it gives way to 'Runaway Raindrop,' which starts off sounding like 'Tubular Bells' on the wrong speed and in the wrong decade and gives way to a barrage of drums, menacing vocals and haunting feedback; it's is gloriously disorientating.
This is something of a coup de theatre for Mercury Rev. Their name may be synonymous with quality but was anyone really expecting this?