The Galileo 7 and Mitch Friedman

The Galileo 7

The Galileo 7 “Tear Your Minds Wide Open!”

This band has always had a solid sixties retro streak, and here they go all in. The opener “Cold Hearted Stowaway” is the brilliant example of Who-inspired mod pop with a catchy chorus that would be a huge national hit if we had a time machine. The driving “Mystery Train” and “Too Much Choice” are fast-paced psyche-pop tunes, mixing Farfisa organ and fuzz guitar. The drummer, only credited as “Mole” effectively channels Keith Moon throughout.

The slower, spiralling tune “The Mask” allows a more deliberative psychedelic experience that builds to a crescendo. In fact, there is not a single dud in the bunch. Hooks are also all over “Tear My Mind Open” and the band’s output is very consistent from the quick R&B influenced “The Habit Machine” to the multi-melodic “Your Face Tomorrow” which flirts with Prog Rock. There are great retro gems all over this album, fans of similar “Rainbow Quartz” styled bands like The Above or The Grip Weeds will love this. Highly Recommended. Note: This is a recommended as an mp3 purchase. The vinyl LP/CD combo only in terms of the physical product was essentially sold out, but its expected to re-press in January.


Mitch Friedman

Mitch Friedman “Breaking Muse”

Mitch Friedman kind of positions himself as a geeky pop singer/songwriter, like a combination of They Might Be Giants and Allan Sherman. And I’ve enjoyed his Game Show Teeth which showcased some good songwriting and wonderful guest instrumentalists (John Dunbar, Joe McGinty, Dave Gregory, Andy Partridge.) On his latest LP Breaking Muse, Mitch is purely solo.

Musically it’s sparse, the lyrics comment on transgender celebrities (“Center of Attention”), baldness (“It Won’t Be Long Now”) and diets (“What’s On Your Plate”). It plays a lot like a kids album for sad grown-ups. And while some tunes here have catchy appeal like “The Popcorn Tree” and “You Get By,” on the whole, it falls short. However, the dystopian “Results” is an appealing composition that does hit the mark when it comes to pure cynicism. Mitch’s muse might be broken but hopefully, he can get a little crazy glue and fix things next time.


Mitch Friedman “Sing Sing”

Somewhere between They Might Be Giants, Allan Sherman and XTC lies the world of Mitch Friedman. After he’s shown us his Game Show Teeth a few years ago, he is now sent to Sing Sing (a prison for the musically weird I guess).

Opening with a muppets like chorus of prisoners singing “Me Not Right,” it leads to the bouncy and quirky “Previously Unreleased.” Mitch’s vocal shifts make him an ever changing chameleon – like a Robin Williams routine, you never know which “voice” will pop up in the chorus. While some will find it endearing, others may hear it as over used novelty. In any case the music is interesting enough, “Ice Me Nice” is an over-the-top reaction to global warming and “Hazy Recollection” is a nicely done story of criminal arrogance. A faux Bond theme with Jude Cown “The Spy” is full of so many cliches I was waiting for a punchline (that never arrived).

Eventually the goofiness recedes and straight catchy pop shows up with “Spring (Is Waiting For A Chance To) Spring” and impressive “The Last Nice Day” with its shifting styles from acoustic to heavy rock. Most entertaining is “Tribute Band” an enjoyable tune about a musician “in a tribute band to myself.” Add to this special musical guest stars Dave Gregory (XTC), R. Stevie Moore, Adam Elk (The Mommyheads), Andrea Perry, Lane Steinberg (The Wind), Jude Cowan, Indigo Street (Shy Hunters), and Daryl Bean. Overall a very entertaining listen.

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