Make A Rising: Semolina Pilchard's climbing up the Eiffel Tower once again, but this time the Walrus isn't Paul...
Okay, when was the last time you heard an album that combined elements and influences by the following: The Incredible String Band' Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, The Mothers of Invention's Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Beach Boys' Smiley Smile, Love's Forever Changes with sonic shards of Robert Wyatt, Eric Satie riding a bicycle with a flat tire and something that sounds like Harry Partch shaking up a can of spray paint then suddenly smashing Mr. Satie's bike to bits with a shovel which kinda creates music to a French movie I've never seen before.
Then there's some other harder aggressive shit that sounds like King Crimson after a double espresso peyote cocktail. Now you might think I'm kinda gettin' carried away with the metaphors here but I guarantee you if you listen to Make A Rising's first disc Rip Through The Hawk Black Night all of this will be perfectly clear. And I'm sure you're bound to find plenty of your own analogies for this incredibly eclectic stew of a debut.
Now I'm just as jaded as the next guy. As I get older I find I keep going further and further back to check up on what I might've missed. It's pretty hard for me to give five minutes to music that's not made by a dead guy lately. I'm talkin' about before the war - and I don't mean Vietnam! I'm talkin' 'bout the Big One buddy, the one my dad fought so we could be free. But let's just say it goes without saying that Make A Rising kaleidoscopic sonic slop wasn't what he had in mind when he painted my mother's name on the barrel of his rifle to kill Krauts.
Which brings us to that old sport of tension and release, which these guys manage like a tightrope walker trying to keep his footing with a head full of absinthe. This album keeps you on edge. You feel like you're part of a crowd waiting for an accident to happen. At any given moment you expect the whole swirling auditory hallucination to tank. But it never does - it just keeps flippin' the channel on you. Its like that rare occasion New Years Day, when there are five shows on that you wanna watch and they're all on at the same time, so you just keep bouncing back and forth from loopy psychedelic pop songs to rattling avant-garde percussion to kick ass prog-rock licks in some weird timing. Whether through some odd miracle or extra-terrestrial editing skills the album all holds together and bares repeated listening.
Now we've gotten this far and I don't even know any of their names (they don't list the band members anywhere on the disc although guest musicians and engineers get their due). And so far I've got no clue what the songs are about, although there are a few evocative titles listed in goofy lettering on the back. Hell, I don't even know what these guys look like! When you open the disc there's a photo of five humans, presumably male, I'm guessing, dressed in costumes, that resemble something from the wardrobe of both the Residents and the Mummers - which makes perfect sense as these guys are residents of Philadelphia.
Okay - They've got me. I actually give a shit. My heart, brain and ears are not hard-boiled after all, though I must admit I can barely hear the egg timer these days. I'm gonna track these guys down and find out what they're all about. Maybe they'll even send me a lyric sheet. And I'm hoping it's something of the likes that Lewis Carroll was scribbling on his book cover, lost in a daydream during earth science class.
With all of these comparisons to heroes of yore I must clarify something - these guys don't sound forced. They don't sound like they're "trying."
Comprised of Jesse Moynihan on violin, guitar, and voice, his brother Justin Moynihan on piano, uke, voice, percussionist John Heron, bassist John Pettit who doubles on trumpet and Brandon Beaver - guitar, voice, their music is simply just the way they play it with plenty of imagination, a side of discipline and a dollop of "I don't give a fuck."
"The band formed in the summer of 2002," Jesse said in a brief phone interview. "A lot of inspiration comes from a love of marginalized and misunderstood pop music. I think a foundation or catalyst for the band was when we got into 10CC about three years ago."
You can find Make A Rising and their music HERE.