Blind Mr. Jones - Tatooine

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2015-01-27

A special 20th anniversary reissue of this Marlow quintet’s second and final album gets the remaster and vinyl treatment for the first time. Like their debut, it was produced by Chris Hufford, so comparisons with his other clients (Radiohead, Chapterhouse, Slowdive) are natural. But there is also a distinct Ride vibe running throughout – their sense of loud/soft harmonics and catchy melodies behind strong vocals should definitely appeal to fans of the Oxford bunch.

The incredibly catchy ‘Disney World’ and ‘See You Again’ are the equal of anything on Nowhere. Perhaps they suffered a 'copycat' backlash? Because these guys should’ve been huge.

‘Viva Fisher’ is lovely, Floydian psych, highlighted by new addition Jon Tegner’s dreamy flute-work; the gorgeous harmonies on ‘Big Plane’ rival The Byrds; ‘What’s Going On’ visits Spacemen 3/Spiritualized psychedelia, and their Beach Boys tribute (!) ‘Surfer Baby’ is a hoot. ‘Mesa’ even sounds like they added lyrics to a leftover Felt guitar instrumental (with Will Teversham’s bitchin’ New Orderish bass riff stuck in the middle for good measure).

Finally, they let their hair down (even further) on the reckless endangerment of ‘Please Me’, but again, comparisons with Ride’s ‘Drive Blind’ may have kept the punters away. And the songs do tend towards a certain sameness as the album proceeds, but that’s a common criticism of most shoegazers anyway, so I wouldn’t let that keep you away.

Sadly (and shockingly, considering the talent on display here), they disbanded after Tatooine’s release and haven’t been heard from since. Hopefully this reissue will encourage them to reform and record new material, and maybe even explain their enigmatic monikor - a Psychedelic Furs reference? Dylan? Talking Heads? Perhaps The Stones or merely the barman at the local pub? In the meantime, don’t let this opportunity to score some top-shelf shoegaze history pass you by.

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