Mitchell Museum – The Peters Port Memorial Service
Glasgow’s Mitchell Museum have been ones to watch for some time now, but the unexpected brilliance of their debut album suggests we weren’t watching quite closely enough. Barely a moment of The Peters Port Memorial Service is bulging with less than fifteen ideas, yet it’s an album continually honed into three-minute, manic, off-kilter, carnival pop.
The neo-psychedelic blueprint of Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips are obvious touchstones, whilst Room For Improvement sees the band adopt the jungle ‘yadda-yadda’ mantras of Sung Tongs-era Animal Collective. The conscious-spewing abstraction of WHY?’s Yoni Wolf is another influence, particularly on the galloping, vocal somersaults of Mission 1.
Yet Mitchell Museum are far from being consigned to slavish idolatry. Maybe it’s the spine-tingling drum fills of Copy + Paste or singer Cammy MacFarlane’s idiosyncratic two-line coda about old folks' homes and baby-trainer cups. Maybe it’s Tiger Heartbeat’s bounding enthusiasm and humorous analogies on up-turned spiders.
Whatever it is, Peters Port stands as an album head and shoulders above its peers, one that belies its debut status and, crucially, sounds as if Mitchell Museum have only just started to flex their creative muscle. We’ll be keeping a much closer eye on them from now on. [Darren Carle]