(boing))) is the latest release from Silverton, Oregon’s Thomas Mudrick, out October 22, 2013 on Portland’s Ten Dollar Recording Company. 2013 has been a busy year indeed for Mudrick, with a full-length release from his side project Nodding Tree Remedies (The 45th Parallel), as well as a second full length solo effort Mongoose Thompson and the Kalapuya Spirit. Not one to be content with staying too long in the same place, all three records are all over the stylistic map, and (((boing))) stands to be perhaps Mudrick’s strongest effort to date.
Through his varied work with the TDRCO crew, Mudrick has proven himself to be a true musical chameleon, multi-talented and as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife. Furthering and emboldening this stylistic doppelganglery, (((boing)))’s twelve lush and verdant tracks see Mudrick laying bare the variegated depths of his metronomic heart, hewn of one part acid-folk manifesto, one part comedic interlude, and one large dollop of rock solid, root down groove. And make no doubt about it, this album brings it in a way that would likely make Beyoncé or Kanye sit up and take notice if they weren’t so busy admiring their bling or whatever it is they do with their time. To put it in the parlance of the people, (((boing))) jams in the truest sense, with every track its own insular ecosystem replete with the appropriate flora and fauna, at times surprisingly different from the track before it. Still, at the end of the day all the scattershot pieces manage to fall perfectly into aesthetic lockstep, a type of traveling musical circus humming on down the road to the next township.
On (((boing))), Mudrick deftly channels the same ear for off-beat melody, approachable esotericism, and irresistibly ass-shaking beats as anything that late 90’s Ween or Midnight Vultures-era Beck ever birthed, with a number of tracks on (((boing))) giving both of the aforementioned heavyweights a dead run for the money. Add to this that Mudrick personally arranged, played, and produced most of the album’s bevy of miscellaneous instrumentation, and what one is left with is a genuine one-man musical cavalry, capable of spitting off ideas with an ease and originality that the great grey masses of mustachioed neo-college rockers can only dream of. Hell, the guy even throat sings. And well, at that.
For (((boing))), Mudrick is joined by a handful of friends and fellow music-maker types, including Ian Hartley on drums and percussion, as well as TDRCO resident tuneage gurus Ryan Michael Block and Mariya May, among others. Already more than well accomplished in the talent and diversity departments, (((boing))) is certain to become another feather in TDRCO’s cap, and is yet another win for the label in 2013, which has already released a spate of quality full-lengths from the likes of Chance Wiesner, Mudrick and the aforementioned Nodding Tree Remedies, and Block and May’s stellar What in Your Heart Can Put You in a Trance. And we’re talking quality AND quantity here, so don’t get any ideas.
Lashed along the hull of (((boing)))’s twelve tracks, styles twist and turn unexpectedly, rolling and rollicking from the East Asian opium den chill-out of “Orange Vibes”, to the vacuum-sealed goof-funk of “Banana Peel”, the bloodshot island ghetto cruising of “Kamikaze Minivan”, and the polyphonic Jesus and Mary Chain revivalism of “Blackstone Blues”. And we’re just getting warmed up, here. (((boing))) is surprising not only given its effortless genre bending, but also due to the slowly dawning realization as each track is followed by the next that Thomas Mudrick is one talented motherfucker. And to top it off, he’s got a grounded sense of humor and quirk, and isn’t holding back on what he wants to do for the sake of you or anyone else. To wit, these are hallmark qualities that we should be demanding from more of our artist types, but that’s another dialectic entirely.
To be sure, there isn’t a dull moment on (((boing))), and likely the first response to the final shimmering strains of iridescent album closer “She Turns Out of Time” is to immediately hit repeat on this baby. And why wouldn’t you want to come straight back to the 70’s AM flower-hour make-out session of “Soul Glow”, the barnstorming foot-stomp of “Do Me Like Jesus”, the acid-drenched county fair folk of “Gurngy” (complete with bongos and hand-claps!), or the out-of-left-field warp groove of “Boomarangatang”? Tether it all to some choice cover selections, such as a falsetto-hinged dub version of Aaliyah’s “Try Again”, or the psychedelic aboriginal sun worship of Rolf Harris’ and Harry Butler’s “Sun Arise” (nice one), and you’re almost there. Closing out with the glittering, embryonic ode to Gaia “She Turns Out of Time”, (((boing))) aims to lively up yourself, and there’s no reason why this album shouldn’t be on a raft of “Best of 2013” lists. For those with their ears to the ground, that is.
Thomas Mudrick’s latest opus (((boing))) is out October 22, 2013 from the perennially trend-subverting folk at Portland’s Ten Dollar Recording Company, along with a lot of other ear-stretching stuff that you should definitely take a listen to. So mosey on over and give ‘em a look-see, partner. (Reed Burnam)
|1||She Turns out of Time||03:55|
|7||Over the Hills||02:53|
|14||Particles of Gold||04:27|
|16||Keep on Keepin' On||04:05|