Review Summary: Awesome
So in a long overdue quest to dig apart the enshrouded indie confines of the 90s decade, possibly on such a venture because you were falsely led astray by those whom you may have trusted as a lad or laddette growing up - but that’s another story for another time – you, by scrounging through charts of RYM, sorting through various Radiohead
(s), Elliott Smith
(s), and Britney Spears
(s), find an admittedly odd-named, Welsh psychedelic folk band, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. As a general rule you only settle for the best when it comes to picking this
from a band’s discography, particularly one that doesn’t ring a bell with many of the cool kids, and hence, you solely lay your nasty, greedy little hands on the band’s 1997 fourth full-length, Barafundle
. Queue it up, then open the file, and enter hither:
Write-ups from various publications on the topic album of choice love to throw Super Furry Animals-isms throughout their writing, describing Mynci’s up-until-1997 extreme, uncontrolled nature’s sudden move to tighter-leashed, yet experimental acoustic folk, golden pre-Animal Collective messing as something related to their Welsh nature, or something like that. But for the sake of this audience – i.e. sputnikmusic, which's users are not quite up to date on their Furries, sadly – you specifically wouldn’t go wrong by just envisioning Modest Mouse with a slight narcotic buzz, chilled without Isaac Brock’s tension, and Sufjan Stevens, with a much-needed pisser and adventurous temperament, making an album together. Oh, yeah, wow.
I kid you not, though: Barafundle
is not only Mynci’s strongest album, but it is a strong runner for the 90s’ most underrated stomp of grandiose achievement. I know, so in that case you might ask, “does it top either of The Olivia Tremor Control's masterpieces
"” Eh, not quite, much doesn’t I’ve come to find, but what it does hang over any of Control’s work is, ironically, its sense of control
, as well as the overall unity of its material when placed in comparison. You can find such contents as a homage to The Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper” in the varying tempo changes of “The Barafundle Bumbler”; various acoustic nuggets in which singer Euros Child’s vocals really shine, like in the lyrically dark opener “Diamond Dew” or Welsh-sung “Pen Gwag Glas”; and a handful of piano-centered cuts: “Dark Night”, “Bola Bola”, and “Hwyl Fawr I Pawb” – the last of which is once again sung in the Welsh language.
And you know what about all of that" It feels right, man; it feels really right
, but there's more: Light neo-folk-cum-Current 93 diddies" Check, Barafundle
has those. Oh, well okay then: horns and flutes" Yes and yes, surprising isn’t it" And if it’s as good as I say it is, then why haven’t you heard about it" Well, like many of the works of Super Furry Animals, much of the Welsh scene’s explosion in the 90s – more like crackle
when compared to the Brit-pop dominance of Oasis, Blur, and Pulp – tapered off smoothly to relative obscurity with the coming of the new millennium, and for the most part, stayed contained to its origins. This isn’t to say you won’t find fans of either band – say hello to their Metacritic scores, if you have time – but yes, unfortunately, this environment and a since-then lack of marketing punch has often left Barafundle
without a home, i.e. the hearts of many music listeners that would surely be all over it, if only they listened.
is a rare case in music, specifically in the realm psychedelic folk and the like, where experimentation, variation, and songwriting meet in one happy spot
, with none of its inhabitants’ appendages being shaved off in the least during the process. You could attribute it to Child’s rock-solid knack for coming up with abundant hooks for every song, arguably in a time when the songwriter was at his best in both his solo work and Mynci’s career. Or perhaps it’s how the rest of Mynci's members are able to work their piano, acoustic guitars, violins, distortion, drums, and background vocals messing together for a moving, jelled psychedelic folk, indie and twee pop, what-have-you experience. Either way, Welsh Gorky's Zygotic Mynci’s Barafundle
is a 90s gem that many are probably even now searching for as they dig through their music charts. Hold up, guys - I’ve got what you’ve been looking for right here.