This may be their eighth album, but previously this reviewer has happily given
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci a wide berth. There just always seemed something a bit too Lucy in the
sky with banjos about them; something rural, spaced-out and, suspiciously,
happy. And ‘How I Long…’ does little to shake such prejudice. It is a
collection of whimsical neo-psychedelic folk songs of no little charm, but,
crucially, little drama either.
Eccentricity, like over elaboration, is very much part of the deal. ‘Can Megan’
would rock any barndance Mungo Jerry-style. ‘These Winds’, meanwhile, is
rightly identified by the band as a “sea shanty”, and is best left at that.
Other tracks, lush and melodic as they are, often seem like adventures in sound
to be admired at a distance, as mandolin, squeeze box and ping-pong(!) are
artfully brought into play.
They’re far better when all this Brian Wilson-esque buggering about is
channelled into something direct. ‘Stood On Gold’ and ‘Her Hair Hangs Long’, in
particular, are wonderful sunny, wonky pop songs.
Gorky’s very sweetness, however, eventually puts your teeth on edge. Even when
their hearts are breaking they sound like they’re surfing a sunbeam and,
ultimately, ‘How I Long…’ strikes a saccharine tone. “Oh, how happy I am,”
exclaims Euros Childs. Much better that than manufactured middle-class angst,
but it also seems to confirm that Gorky’s occupy their own little idyll, far
removed from most people’s life experience, much less modern Britain.
They are the faeries at the bottom of pop’s garden, magical in some ways but
hard to believe in.