Friday, August 23, 2013

Grumbling Fur...possibly named after a chapter in the Pooh series

My friend Bill Meyer says that if he hates the band name, he almost always hates the band. A band that can't think of a good one or two word handle for itself is unlikely, he says, to have the intelligence and creativity to write a good song. Fair enough. But with exceptions. Grumbling Fur, for instance, is a cloying and awful band name. It is also a pretty good band (if "band" can be made to stand in for an occasional, loosely structured, two-man collaboration) with an excellent record out in Glynnaestra. I reviewed it last week for Dusted.

I said,

"Grumbling Fur is a one-off experiment that took root, a super group of unknown musicians. It started with a day-long jam in 2011 that brought together avant stalwart Alexander Tucker, epic art-rock multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan (of Guapo, Aethenor and Mothlite), Jussi Lehtisalo from Circle and Dave Smith (also of Guapo), and resulted in an LP called Furrier. There was another record in 2012, called Alice. It was also recorded live and on the fly, this time just Tucker and O’Sullivan.

Glynnaestra has much of the sweep and mystery of Furrier as well as the close, lovely minor-key harmonies of Alexander Tucker’s solo folk work. As in Tucker’s Imbodogom, ordinary noises like speech, tea kettles, hand claps are worked into surreal and dream-like patterns. Instruments, too, are both recognizable and slightly altered, the jangle of guitar and harp blossoming into otherworldly overtones, the notes of piano dissolving like food coloring into an amorphous pool of inchoate sounds. Yet it moves in a way that neither Imbogodom’s recordings nor Furrier ever did — playfully, lightly, but purposefully."


Grumbling Fur - The Ballad of Roy Batty from Michael Lewis on Vimeo.

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