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MV & EE with the Golden Road - Gettin' Gone

  by Andrew Carver

published: 19 / 10 / 2007

MV & EE with the Golden Road - Gettin' Gone
Label: Ecstatic Peace
Format: CD


Hit and miss Neil Young-inspired latest outing from art-damaged New York weird-folk duo MV & EE.

Mat Valentine once again makes tracks with lifemate, muse and musical companion Erika Elder on ‘Gettin’ Gone’. The duo have been turning out many an album of art-damaged New York weird-folk, starting with Tower Recordings and continuing on through sundry CD-Rs and limited edition LPs. On their latest work, ‘Gettin’ Gone’, they recruit the usual NYC free rock and East Coast freak-folk suspects as the Golden Road and run acoustic folk and the Laurel Canyon oeuvre through the ringer. Among the guests are J. Mascis (who seems to enjoy drumming a lot these days) and Samara Lubelski, fresh off her very fine folk-pop offering Parallel Suns. The slight warp in the timekeeping of ‘Susquehanna’ and deadpan vocals over distorted guitars suggests later-era Royal Trux, another band which enjoyed taking the sound of the 1970s and giving it a twist. The slow lope of acoustic guitar and keening lap steel give ‘The Burden’ a pastoral burnish, then juice it up with a fabulously fuzzed out guitar solo. ‘Country Fried’ has a similar country-rock luminescence to its faded out harmonica and steel, while ‘Country-Fried’ adds some heavy duty acoustic stomp to a straight ahead groove to create the album’s most focused rocker. The band itself has noted the influence of Neil Young on ‘Gettin’ Gone’, and a significant number of tracks do sound just like the sort of thing he’d kick out in the early to mid-70s. ’Amazingly enough, it isn’t Crazy Horse playing on ‘Hammer’, but a pair of Sunburned Hand of the Man alumni. The guitar tone so exactly emulates Neil Young’s that one almost expects his tremulous quaver instead of the burnout stoicism of Erika Elder’s vocals. A later track, ‘Mamma My’ acknowledges its debt to Crazy Horseman Danny Whitten even more explicitly, and ‘Speed Queen’ follows in a similar mold. Valentine and Elder sing together over faint busted speaker distortion and acoustic tones on ‘I Got Caves In There’. Unfortunately the duet underlines Valentine’s limited vocal range. Elder fairs better, but sounds like a poor cousin to other female voices on the folk scene such as Swaan Miller, Marrisa Nadler, Meg Baird and Lubelski. MV & EE haven’t just absorbed the sound of post-Altamont country rock – they’ve also adapted the unease of albums like ‘On The Beach.’ The album trips along easily through musically loose numbers like ‘Day & Night’ and ‘Easy Livin’’, the latter highlighted by some twinkling electric guitar, then detours into the freaked-out clatter of ‘Colaed Out’, with its strained singing, twisting guitar line, background shouts and percussion that sounds like it was recorded for a different song in the room next door. If you can bear the sometimes overstretched vocals (not much of a burden, it should be noted) and have a hankering to listen to something that sounds like the bastard offspring of ‘Tonight’s the Night’, then ‘Gettin’ Gone’ is just the ticket.

Track Listing:-
1 Susquehanna
2 The Burden
3 Hammer
4 I Got Caves In There
5 Mama My
6 Day & Night
7 Easy Livin'
8 Colaed Out
9 Speed Queen
10 Motorin'
11 Country Fried
12 Home Comfort
13 Sweet People

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Interview (2008)
MV & EE with the Golden Road - Interview
At a concert at the Luminaire in London, Dominic Simpson speaks to Matt Valentine, one half of psychedelic folk duo MV & EE, about his group's three albums and many other unoffical albums, and his decision to relocate it from New York to Vermont

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