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Condor Moments » All Music Guide

Condor Moments

We’re Not Happy ‘Til You’re Not Happy

All Music Guide

March 11th, 2008 by RichyMidnight

by François Couture

…And Though We’re Told We’ve Got It All, The All We’ve Got Is Freezing Cold… is such a strong debut album it’s scary. You can’t help but fear for Condor Moments when the time comes to do better. This kind of debut CD sets very high expectations for an eventual follow-up. But first things first: what is this music anyway? Imagine what would have happened if Frank Zappa had been a fan of the Beach Boys instead of doo-wop groups. And if he had worked with recording engineer Bob Drake instead of Dick Kunc (of course, Drake was still a bit young for that kind of gig in the late ‘60s). The music of Condor Moments draws on the lightness of the white American pop song format and late-night crooners, then adds a strong dose of non sequitur, and a load of Zappa-esque creativity. The result is very hard to describe. It tends toward avant-progressive rock, but it is too silly and not metrically complex enough for that. Then again, this clearly is NOT pop music, despite the catchy melodies. However, fans of twisted psychedelic rock, avant-cabaret, weird songwriting in general and — yes — Frank Zappa in particular are in for one fabulous treat. Singer/songwriter Richy Midnight adopt a funnily affected, over-dramatic voice that make him sound like he is constantly wearing his heart on his sleeve, even when singing the silliest double-entendres. Guitarist Brucie Millions (aka Peeesseye’s Chris Forsyth, believe it or not!) jumps back and forth between character playing and noisy textures. In fact, the whole group keeps zapping from one style to another, Mr. Bungle style. The album was mixed by Bob Drake (of Thinking Plague, Hail and 5uu’s fame), whose hand can be heard throughout, if only for the depth of the mix, the number of layers of sound, and the extreme stereo panning. …And Though We’re Told… is too good to be ignored…or dismissed as comedy avant-rock, even though that’s probably what it should be called. Highly recommended.