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Mountaineers - Messy Century

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 28 / 9 / 2003

Mountaineers - Messy Century
Label: Mute Records
Format: LP


Debut album from Welsh-born, Liverpool-based 3 piece, which despite flitting through a variety of genres, proves best when they are sticking to a pop formula

'Messy Century' has a very twee cover, which reflects upon nothing that is contained inside this CD. The Mountaineers are a 3 piece who are now based in Liverpool, but who originally come from Wales. 'Messy Century' features 13 songs which grow on you the more you lisiten to them. It kicks off with recent single 'Ripen', which begins as something of a rave tune, but which then gets into more of a pop groove which seems to be what the Mountaineers are good at. They don't, however, remain there and this album goes off in lots of different directions which spoils it a bit for me. Their pop style is reminiscent of that of Coldplay, but also of what Starsailor might be if Starsailor were not fans of Tim and Jeff Buckley. They also sound like Cast might sound if they were not from Liverpool. Other elements of the record sound like the more arty farty side of Radiohead. At other times it reminds me too of Mark Mulcahy, who has also ironically recently been compared to Tim Buckley. 'The eighth track, 'Backgrounds', reminds me of Radiohead in a bar with mid 70's period Pink Floyd. The twlefth track, 'Apart from This', is experimental in a 'Trans' way. This album, however, really works best when they play it safe and play pure pop. It ends with 'Silent Dues', which features just vocals, acoustic guitar and piano and which is a lovely way to end this set of songs. 'Messy Century' is definitely a grower, but is perhaps too clever for its own good and a post Britpop audience.

Track Listing:-
1 Ripen
2 Sewing
3 It's Solid
4 I Gotta Sing
5 Belgique Limb
6 Want to Write You
7 Uk Theatre
8 Backgrounds
9 All My Life
10 Bom Bom
11 Gruppen
12 Apart from This
13 Silent Dues

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