Mad Gregs – Big Nun

RiYL: “Elliot Smith”, “The Walkmen”, the clarinet, or carnival rides

This album started out slow for me, but I see why, and now appreciate its gracefulness. It’s soft jazzy rhythms and floating harmonies surround you as their uplifting runs guide you through the most benign carnival or the short corner of a forgotten fairground.

The third track, “Old Man”, was much more playful. It strung together classic upbeat simple jazz beats and riffs but smoothed them out with hushed playing. While I enjoyed the main parts, the bells were a bit too sharp for my ears.

“Holy Ghost Girl Games” brings out another enchanting sound I really enjoyed. Their dumpy organ/clarinet sound add alot to this song. I only wish it came back later on much stronger than it did.

“Unbelievable Amounts” was a great song that built itself on one main driving riff. Additions with instruments and sounds along with the fast clitter-clack of percussion made close my eyes in anticipation of what was coming next. Unfortunately, it faded out…

I was dissatisfied with “Envelope” because it wandered around to much to be totally coherent. I lost my focus each time I listened.

At least they ended on a good note. “Safe In Sound” brought in more organ that seemed to envelop you more than most songs. Towards the end when you got really cozy, they suprised you with a shiny box that opened up and cast a bouncy mellow glow on the listener before the band has to pack up and leave the whirly tubes on.

I, as a listener, stayed till the end. This was a great album. The whole piece fit together well and kept you in their world. “Mad Gregs – Big Nun” is definately one to listen to when you need to be reminded of the sound of soft cheerful innocence that children make from a distance.

– Michael Howell