The one man music machine known as Frank rounds up his early releases for your listening pleasure. John Barry meets Brian Wilson on splattered black vinyl.
Last year musical polymath Maston released Shadows, his triumphant debut LP on Trouble In Mind Records (read review here). It was was one of the year's most pleasing surprises, a mix of soft psychedlic and dream pop, full of Brian Wilson-esque studio exploration and melodic inventiveness.
Since then he's busied himself touring as part of fellow psych-adventurer Jacco Gardner's backing band, though it's been pretty quiet on the solo front. That's about to change thanks to Stroll On Records, who have rounded up the music from Voyages and Opal, Maston's first two cassette only EPs, along with some unreleased tracks from the Shadows sessions. The result is a ten track compilation entitled Opal Collection.
While lacking the cohesiveness and flow of his Shadows album the music on this collection is in a much similar vein and will be a well received stocking filler for fans of his Shadows LP. Along with echoes of prime-era Beach Boys, and wrecking crew studio layering there's an impressive dose of John Barry and cold war spy movie soundtracks.
With most tracks vocal-less and and short in length, it has the air of a recently rediscovered film score, one that has inventive use of percussion and an knack of mixing spooked tension with poppy melodies. Nobody does this quite like Frank. While we wait for the next album, this collection of his earlier work will do nicely.
Look out for this release on a limited (300 copies) splatter/black vinyl edition.
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