Moore Brothers : Colossal Small

They merge the early-'60s Merseybeat sound with olde tyme West Coast folk harmonising.

Yes, they are real brothers. Yes, they merge the early-’60s Merseybeat sound

with olde

tyme West Coast folk harmonising. Yes, they’re chums of ex-Pavement man

Spiral Stairs, and loosely linked

to the infamous Elephant 6 collective. You may well loathe

this album already. But wait…

‘Colossal Small’, the debut LP from Californians Greg and Thom Moore, has not one idea that wasn’t deemed outmoded when The Beatles recorded ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. It has outbreaks of excruciating lyrics like “The horse follows the face/Does the face follow the horsey”, yet somehow, one can’t help retaining a certain affection for this defiant nose-thumbing at progression – especially when ‘Nicholas Pulse’ and ‘The Outsiders’ have such a wicked way with classic, rosy-cheeked pop tuneage.

Despite cod-surrealist song titles like ‘Bit By The Loon’ and ‘Calligraphy Mouth’, The Moore Brothers’ supreme oddness comes, paradoxically, with their most musically straight-laced moments. No matter how many bands of this ilk filter from the American backwaters – Apples

In Stereo, Elf Power, Myracle Brah etc – it still baffles, the zeal with which bright college-educated men dedicate themselves to replicating an era that was over before they were born.

And it can’t help sticking in

the craw, really. God help us

when The Moore Brothers discover prog rock.

Noel Gardner