Mutant Vinyl - 'Kick The Reel' EP Review
100%Overall Score

Image Credit: Alice Conway Photography

This may sound slightly strange – but I have sometimes viewed music as in terms of night and day. What I mean by this is that to me, some music evokes the night, while others the day, For example, “Happy” by Pharrel is a massive sun-shiny day of a song; “Riders of the Storm” by The Doors is definitely of the night. And Edwin Pope’s latest offering under his Mutant Vinyl project is definitely one for the night. A claustrophobic night.

This six track offering opens with the short “Woke’ which utilises a voice of a woman who gave – at the height of her powers – many people feverish economic and political nightmares. The voice of dear old Maggie Thatcher, lauded by the few, castigated by the many, trails to the end of the track…“it doesn’t matter to me what your background is...’’ Sadly for you, and vindication for the rest of us, history proved you wrong. And then “Can You Kick The Reel” bursts into this urban night of imagination. This is old skool beats, nagging and urgent, a cross between The Beloved ( Pope’s vocal delivery do s the cap to the excellent Jon Marsh) and Adrian Sherwood. Plus a mighty sax break from the Maestro, it all adds up to a ear worm of the highest order.

“Bootleg” sounds like it has just been transported from the very late 1980’s, the electro vibe hitting just the right mark, it takes all the best bits and throws them into the Mutant Vinyl mix.

Cool, cool, cool. And its funny how You And Your Pink Sky reminds me of a stupendously underrated Northern band Engineers, which is certainly no bad thing. And again that trademark haunting sax. The collection of songs ends with “Esmeralda” the start of which has a lovely aviary sample that reminds us of a Pleasure Dome and when a bunch of Liverpool cultural agitators recommended we just relax….But this is dark, way dark.Is it a relationship confessional, or a study in obsessive stalking? The backing vocals build the tension expertly till a bass and sax ri enters to drive the song, pounding, insistent to its denouement. A stand-out track, weighted with knowing paranoia. Worthy of the night.

I’m loving this….and I think you will too, especially driving in your inner-city of choice in the early hours of the morning. You and the night and the claustrophobia.

Kick The Reel is out tomorrow.

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Steve Kinrade