Losing Today - Near to perfection?

This review appears online at Losing Today - The Indie Music Magazine. Thanks folks - really, really appreciate the support. Once you've read it here, you can read it all over again at www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=131

The Merlin Bird 'Reason and Rhyme' (Self Released). As near to perfection as you can probably get, 'Reason and Rhyme' is the debut release from Melbourne based quintet The Merlin Bird who describe themselves via their wonderful Myspace site as a 'rock, progressive, folk rock' ensemble which I'm sure you'll agree pretty much covers a very broad spectrum.

To describe the six tracks (well four really - one being a reprise of the title cut - the other 'The calm before' a brief but gorgeous slice of Brontean wonderment a la FortDax) that feature here is to say its like discovering some guarded word of mouth secret entrance to an enchanting and magical world.

'Rhyme to reason' opens the set - a multi coloured free-flowing tapestry of treats that sumptuously entwines early 70's folk accents, Arabesque charms and Celtic montages within an archaic thought lost medieval tongue. An absolutely breathless passage of rich arrangements that all at once embrace, invigorate and seductively blow you away. Reference wise sharing the mindset of - (in terms of style, attitude and ability to simplistically weave and engage varying styles) - Circulus. A bewitching brew, beautifully scored, 'Rhyme and Reason' provides a multi faceted assemblance of key note influences, imagining from the onset Steve Earle's moon shining 'Copperhead Road' relocated as were to the Wicker Man's Summerisle - from therein you'll find woven within the spectral touches of Gabriel's Genesis, Michael Oldfield, early career Kate Bush and even mid 70's era Floyd shimmering to and fro amid the grooves all succulently set off with an interchanging boy / girl delivery working their alluring magic with a special mention to Beck Sian Robson's unworldly vocal which frankly has to be heard to be believed.

Equally lushly lilting 'the Father of Storms' opens with gothic lined monastic grace before quickly re-aligning itself to a more contemporary template, soft and breezy its inviting charms caress gently as though communicating from some serenely picturesque world hidden from the gaze of modern life - think Ex Post Facto's 'Oceanic Explorer' rewired by Porcupine Tree while being overseen by Kissing the Pink.

Then there's the sweetly lulling ornate chocolate box wrap of 'Puccini Garden' with its seductive braiding of harpsichords and tingling string arrangements while elsewhere the electronic based 'Beholder's Eye' craftily courts with a deceptive array of minimalist 80's accents that appear to steadily grow in stature to include at the finale - bagpipes of all things which may or may not have a fair many of you recalling briefly Simple Minds 'Belfast Child' with a healthy side order of early Icehouse in the works.

Too brief for it's own good the reprising 'Reason to Rhyme' wraps up the set with nods to both Goblin and 80's teen / horror movies would you believe - see 'Mannequin' and 'Brain Damaged' for further proof. While if you redirect your PC in the general direction of their my space site at www.myspace.com/merlinbird you'll be further treated to the (so far) unreleased 'To the unknown God' (which given that that's two missives on the bounce now that we've recommended it surely gives hint that your day's toil is all the more tougher without it in your life).

As to 'Reason and Rhyme' - simply a thing of wonderment - and as though it could be anything else - Joint Single of the Missive.

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