18 Jun 2014

Icarus Peel & Mordecai Smyth "Barnburner"

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

Mega Dodo regulars Icarus Peel & Mordecai Smyth challenge each other to a friendly bout of fisticuffs on this fetching split 10".

Icarus Peel comes out swinging early in the first round with "Aunty Powders Her Nose" landing strongly with an early U.K psych pop hit ala "Granny Takes a Trip", before tag-teaming regular collaborator Crystal Jacqueline in for the entertainingly daft "Almost Murder Ballad", which sounds like Gomez and Morticia Addams dressing up as Nancy & Lee for Halloween and tackling Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home a Heartache". Peel's last song, a tribute to Crystal Jacqueline has a nice mellow "Castles Made of Sand" vibe, with backwards guitars ebbing and flowing nebulously against a backdrop of busy Hendrixian rhythm guitar.

One might expect Mordecai Smyth to be on the ropes at this point (especially given that sneaky,  unsporting double teaming trick earlier on), but Smyth's side has plenty of charm of its own. "Out In The Stars" is a lovely, melancholy opener that may suggest Smyth will be struggling to stand by the end of his side, but he quickly rallies with the irrepressibly perky "Plastic People" thumbing its nose to all and sundry, before the marvelous "Drifted Along" makes itself comfortable atop waves of gorgeous mellotron.

So, no K.O in this particular bout, we'll have to look to the judges for a result. And on points the winner is?

Available on vinyl and fully streamable here:

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