MOSTLY AUTUMN – The Ghost Moon Orchestra

Mostly Autumn - The Ghost Moon Orchestra

Mostly Autumn are one of those bands who seem to consistently top the Championship, but never quite make promotion to the Premier League. Constant squad changes, and player rotation has perhaps not helped their cause, and there’s also that Pink Floyd wannabee tag that seems forever associated the band.

And while Bryan Josh can be Gilmore-esque at times, there’s a lot more to Mostly Autumn’s game plan.  Whatever, there’s no denying Mostly autumn are for some strange reason a band who seem to polarize opinion.

A question hung over the band’s future when long term vocalist Heather Findlay left the fold in 2010, but Mostly Autumn are back with their most dangerous looking line up for the 2012/13 season – ex Breathing Space vocalist Olivia Sparnenn has made the striker’s role at the head of diamond shaped attack her own, flanked by founder members Bryan Josh on guitars and Iain Jennings on keys (Iain himself having been recently re-recruited from the failed Breathing Space).

Liam Davison (guitars) continues to play in the ‘hole’ driving the midfield, while Andy Smith (bass) and Gavin Griffiths (drums) shore up the defence.

Some reviewers have suggested that The Ghost Moon Orchestra sees Mostly Autumn delving into the genre of symphonic rock / metal.  Don’t believe a word of it.  But while Sparnenn’s ethereal vocals add continuity to the band’s bloodline, The Ghost Moon Orchestra adds an element of gritty granularity that‘s perhaps not been previously evident in the band’s DNA.

The contrast between the vocals of Sparnenn and Josh adds a broody, dark and unsettling tone – the title track, for example, would be the perfect back drop to one of Tim Burton’s delicious fantasies.

Elsewhere the newfound pomp echoes deep into the vaults of the early seventies – some wonderful Hammond / guitar riffery on King Of The Valley, for example. It’s evident from just a few plays, that not only is The Ghost Moon Orchestra going to be an album that gets better with each listen, but that more significantly, it’s a progression and, perhaps, Mostly Autumn’s finest hour.

****1/2
Review by Pete Whalley

 


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