Review Summary: A very interesting concept. The instruments and samples create different atmospheres. Vocals are very appealing.
Mr Wednesday is from Adelaide, Australia. This is their debut which was released in 2005. The album showcases their influences but never plagiarize them. These influences range from Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits and others.
Dunc - Keys/Samples/Bass
Eamon - Guitar
Mano - Drums/Percussion
Luke - Bass/Trumpet
Felicity - Cello
Lucy - Violin
Ishan - Viola
Levon - Visuals
This is essentially what the album is about
“The Garden Where Parties Grow is a thirteen-track album that follows a three day sequence in the life of Mr Wednesday as he comes to terms with the world according to Mr Industry. To put it simply, the title is the city. An almost uninhabitable place where social functions form the breadth of existence, work is a means to success and the art of being seen is an enviable talent." Moon (singer).
The album as whole flows very well. They use their influences well which creates Mr Wednesday’s mood. This can be seen in ‘Spare sky for miles’ which is somewhat similar to ‘Saeglopur’ by Sigur Ros due to its uplifting keyboards with gentle, crooning vocals. Another example of this is ‘Falling in numbers’ which uses a megaphone to create a forceful, dominating atmosphere much like Pink Floyd’s ‘Waiting for the worms’. It distorts Moons vocal to enforce to the listener that Mr Industry is in control of the surroundings. Radiohead’s ‘Fitter happier’ seemed to influence ‘One the tail of day 1’ as they both have highly distorted vocals. This showcases Mr Wednesdays feelings, as it creates an almost robotic atmosphere.
The instruments and samples create a raw feel to the album. They use samples to create a realistic such as that of a traffic indicator, a girl speaking in the background, etc. This makes it have a more organic atmosphere. All of the instruments aren’t often used together but when they do it is a delight as they work well to give a full sound. This can be heard in the song ‘The cargo doors have requested our cooperation’ to the greatest extent as the guitars swirl around, the drums keep a constant beat, etc. The vocals are a less whiney Thom Yorke, at times it can be similar to that of Jeff Buckley especially on the songs ‘The wall where the world once ended’ and ‘Wrong tonight’.
The problem that I know people will have with this record is that it can be dull and boring in places. However, I feel this is what makes it so good as they don't need everyone playing to give the album a whole, textured feel. The guitars play at a slow, soothing tone which, as I have said before, gives a nice relaxing atmosphere. The second Act has most of my favourite songs as nearly all of the instruments play together. This gives a full, textured sound which is somewhat relaxing. It also adds to the concept as you can tell the different emotions which Mr Wednesday must be feeling.
Overall, it is a thoroughly magnificent album. They use their influences but never seem to plagarise as they give their own twist to the instruments and vocals. The concept is an interesting one as it flows very well. A very good debut as they show lots of talent and potential to develop their own sound.