The Moles – Untune the Sky (Flydaddy 1999)
June 9, 2008
Untune the Sky
I don’t say this often or maybe I do, but this is one of the top ten albums ever. I don’t expect all of you to agree because this decision is based on a deep love of the Flying Nun label, grubby pop epics, the Beatles and kitchen sink attempts at grandeur. Their frontman, Richard Davies, went on to achieve further brilliance with Eric Matthews in Cardinal and embarked on a foppish direction under his own name. All he has touched is pretty essential, but this collection of their singles and earliest works is the premature pinnacle of a worthwhile career.
Listening to this it is hard to believe it was conceived in Australia instead of New Zealand because it sounds as if the hand of Flying Nun uber producer Chris Knox has mucked with some of these tracks. Then you hear a track like “What’s the New Mary Jane” and you realize that this band had far grander aims than some obscure slot on a mixtape. If you sank some money into a creme de la creme studio and producer, it would have begat brilliance or a red hot mess. Me, I shall never know, but think about the possibilities of this band whenever I listen to this one.
This is a trite and pointless statement, but this would be dry humped by 60s aficionados if released in the way back when. However, its lineage isn’t traced to the “brah, yeah” or magical dragons in my hamper ethos of 60s Nuggets and psych, but a unlikely combo of the Beatles, Kiwipop, 90s indie pop and the pastoral charms of Bill Fay’s work if he were more inclined to cheer up.