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MV+EE - Barn Nova

  by Andrew Carver

published: 7 / 1 / 2010

MV+EE - Barn Nova
Label: Ecstatic Peace
Format: CD


Inventive psychedelia on latest album from New York-based weird folk two piece, MV + EE

MV + EE are the combo of Matt Valentine and Erika Elder. Abetted by a cast of dozens (on this album, Dinosaur Jr. man J. Mascis is among the helping hands), they create a combination of mountain music and twisted psychedelica, a combined Major Stars and Dock Boggs that leaves an impression of drugged revery wrapped in simmering and ferocious electric guitar. The lo-fi plucking and strumming, lap steel and stately amble of kick drum and bass of ‘Feelin’ Fine’, combined with Valentine’s Neil Young-styled croon starts things on a rustic note of stoned pleasantry. Follow-up ‘Get Right Church’, with its ultrafuzz opening and distended wah-wah comes across like a missing Weird War track. Elder’s vocals do the work of an extremely laid-back blues singer. Valentines’s quavering vocals return on ‘Snapperhead’ whose delicate strumming and reverberating chords set a tone alternately blissful and longing, not unlike a slower Flaming Lips number. The heavy plod of guitar fuzz kicks off ‘Summer Magic’, another tune that sounds like it could come from one of Young’s earlier Crazy Horse albums. An extended stretch of knobbly lead guitar is one of the album’s highlights. It leads into another guitar-heavy track, ‘Wandering Nomad”, which unloads a series of crushing chords over a lead guitar line that sounds like it was recorded in a well – a deep well. ‘Bedroom Eyes’ takes a light approach, though it won’t disappoint anyone who loves distended wah or the glistening freakouts of bands like Donovan’s Brain – and there’s plenty more reverberating lead guitar over the tune’s 11-minute length. ‘Fully Tanked’ takes a more bucolic trail with dual, ragged vocals from Valentine and Elder over some lackadaisical acoustic guitar, harmonica and distant lap steel. Putting the couple’s stumbling singing at the forefront may be the album’s only real misstep. The album closes with the briefest track, ‘You Fell’, which barely times out over two minutes. As fuzzy as it is short, the track doesn’t leave the same impression as the album’s longer jams. MV + EE have dozens of releases to their name; ‘Barn Nova’ is somewhere in the early thirties and is one of their best and toughest sounding, with many a long and twisting road for psych fans to enjoy.

Track Listing:-
1 Feelin' Fine
2 Get Right Church
3 Snapperhead
4 Summer Magic
5 Wandering Nomad
6 Bedroom Eyes
7 Fully Tanked
8 You Feel

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