Saturday, 4 April 2015

Cranium Pie - Mechanisms Part Two

Majestic prog-opus ahoy!Funnily enough it's a follow up to Mechanisms Part One! Who woulda thought?!

Fans of Fruits De Mer Records will no doubt already be familiar with Cranium Pie, the band having contributed tracks to various FDM cover version compilations over the years. Here though we get to hear what the band are really about. Mechanisms Part Two is oddly enough the follow up to Mechanisms Part One, their 2012 album about a battle between civilizations of robots and crayfish. I don't know what the local council are putting in the water in Wiltshire but it may be stronger than fluoride! Either that or we're in the company of a very adventurously creative group of people.

Mechanisms Part One went on to be Classic Rock's “bonkers prog album of the year 2012”, so Part Two has something of a reputation to live up to. Over the four sides of vinyl the band are free to stretch out into the furthest reaches of sonic exploration. With heavy Hammond organ, free-jazz-rock drumming and Brian Blessed-esque vocal passages this is music that calls to mind the giants of early '70s progressive rock – Soft Machine, Zappa and Aphrodite's Child may all be influences, but there are also some other more unlikely musical nods in the album's grooves with some surprisingly funky psychedelia.

It seems there may be just as many Funkadelic, Parliament and Prince records in their collections as there are records by The Nice and Caravan. Side One sees the band co-opt the bass line from Isaac Hayes' Ike's Rap II, with Side Three beginning with wacka-wacka guitar chops straight of his Shaft album. Elsewhere there's music borne out of of intuitive collective jamming. So while it's without question another “bonkers prog album” it's also a surprisingly soulful and funky one.

Like many FDM releases, the vinyl version is sure to sell out quickly so if you've missed out bug them for a re-press of make do with a digital copy. Be warned though – it may fry your brain like no other record this year, albeit in a good way.

Limited to 700 copies on colour vinyl double LP with gatefold sleeve.
On Fruits De Mer Records' Regal Crabomophone imprint.

Click here for Cranium Pie's website.
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Click here for Cranium Pie on Twitter.
Click here for more on Fruits De Mer Records.