- FTR 419LP
Dan Melchior is great randomizer of a musician. Born in the UK, based in the US for the last 20 years, his discography ranges from raw garage rock to avant garde tape collages, visiting a whole lots of other points in between. Exhibit A is his first collaboration with P.G. Six (aka Pat Gubler) the wonderful New England based multi-instrumentalist, who has previously appeared with Wet Tuna (FTR 364LP, 2018), Weeping Bong Band (FTR 313LP, 2018), MV & EE (FTR 167LP, 2015) and Joshua Burkett (FTR 196LP, 2015). This time out P.G. plays keyboards, recorder and electric 12-string guitar, leaving the vocals and acoustic guitar to Brother Melchior. The material on Exhibit A hearkens back to some of Melchior's early records, which had a bluesy British simplicity somewhere between Duster Bennett and Sexton Ming. The melodies are fully formed and horribly hook-laden, but there's roughness to the textural edges (and riff-qua-riffs) that gives the music an extra layer of surly magnificence. Some of the lyrics are funny as hell. I dare you to resist from smiling while listening to 'Never Trust a Man Without Sideburns' or 'It Was Good Fun'. And the cover of Creation's classic 'Painterman' is as beautiful example of form-evolution as you'll find this year. Or any other. Exhibit A is a great spin from first note to last. There are lots of strange instrumental textures and tropes, all more or less inside the confines of modernist folk invention, and the whole shimmers with a very special kind of light, while still sounding deceptively plain. It's hard to keep up with Melchior's many releases and style shifts, but it's always worth doing. And this one is a pip.