Chocolate With A Dark Texture
by Shane Danielsen
No surprise that the first MFTCC album featured a gorgeous reading of Danny Boy: after all, David Bridie's preferred mode, both in terms of songwriting and delivery, is the elegiac, his preferred voice a kind of affectless melancholy, as the tracks here, such as The Gossip and Aberystwyth, prove.
At these moments, he maintains a fine line between regretfulness and sentimentality, and the result is often heartbreaking.
This second album, Brood, sees the band,a noticeably more balanced and cohesive unit than before, again combining carefully arranged instrumental tracks with chamber-pop songs.
The mood is less casual, however, and perhaps slighly darker. Listening, you sense a newfound resolve that takes you by surprise.
There's a superb cover of Magazine's Song from under the Floorboards, an undercurrent of real anger in Throwing it Away, while The Old Years is Bridie's best piece of writing since NDW's The Marriage is a Mess.
Helen Mountfort's string arrangements are fuller this time around, suiting the essentially linear nature of these songs, though Slow Way to go Down see the band venturing into more angular, unfamiliar territory - and Bridie's lyrics at their most ambitious.
Only The Pramsitters fails to work, its boisterous beer-hall chorus matched to a rather mundane treatment of one of Bridie's recurrent themes: loveable old men lost in recollection of their salad days. Too cute by half.
Still, this lapse aside, I've not heard a better local album so far this year.
Sydney Morning Herald
Mon Aug 15, 1994