By Erin Wolf
MOJAVE 3 Spoon and Rafter 4AD
Mojave 3 has practically perfected the catchphrase, “quiet is the new loud.” With their exit from the shoegazing outfit Slowdive, we find them putting on the airs of alt-country, creating a sound rivaling bands like The Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star. Though select, these UK natives have built a very loyal following.
Originally manned by Neil Halstead (vocals, guitars), Rachel Goswell (vocals, bass) and Ian McCutcheon (drums) in 1995, Mojave 3 later added the talents of Adam Forrester on keys and Simon Rowe on guitar creating one of the most pastoral sounds to be exported from England in recent times.
Mojave 3 has continued in the vein of simplistic slo-core tinged with twang, and has created an introspective little album, Spoon and Rafter. More poignant and dreamy than 2001’s Excuses For Travelers with its’ upbeat tempo and orchestrations, the current effort shows Mojave 3 to be mellowing.
Aside from the departure into the more serene, the album is not a complete bust, and isquite brilliant in spots. The lovely, soft-but-twangy guitar sound once conjured up by the
likes of Neil Young shows in the winsome track, “She’s All Up Above.” While “Too Many Mornings”, one of the record’s high points, calls the intro line from The Who’s “Love Ain’t For Keeping” their own. Hey guys, If you’re going to steal a line, at least make it more obscure… please.
Overall, Spoon and Rafter is a nice collection of pretty, demure tunes; harmless and sweet — kind of like your kindergarten crush who brought you love notes on construction paper. At times, low key listening is a good breather for the soul, but, if you’re seeking the honesty and straight forward structure the band has become known for… you may not find it here.