Mum - The Peel Session EP
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Mum
The Peel Session EP

Originally recorded back in 2002 in Maida Vale Studios for BBC Radio One’s legendary John Peel Show, this short release is finally seeing a true release, as the group finishes work on their next album (to be released sometime in 2007). The four tracks on this EP were recorded after the release of their stunning debut Yesterday Was Dramatic - Today Was OK, and just before their follow-up album Finally We Are No One. The result is fairly faithful renditions of all tracks, with a few slight flourishes in places that keep them from sounding like studio recordings.

"Scratched Bicycle / Smell Memory" opens the release and after a blurred, murky intro (that takes elements from the original debut's album-closer and reworks them), the track rolls right into the latter track and barely misses a step. In terms of songs on the EP, it's easily the one that's the most faithful to the original, reproducing it nearly note for note. "Awake On A Train" is more successful, adding some great (if a bit quiet) guitar work to the first part of the track that make it slightly more interesting than the original album track.

"Now There Is That Fear Again" is the only track on the short release from the groups second release, and like the other tracks on this release, don't end up too far from the recorded version. With live percussion augmenting the programmed beats and much more organic instrumentation in general, the shift in their sound at that point in time becomes obvious, and with much more overall dynamics it's easily the standout on this twenty minute effort.

Closing out the Peel Session is "The Ballad Of The Broken String," which is basically overlapping layers of accordion and melodica with some random hand-percussion and vibes in the mix. Basically, this is an EP for rather serious fans of Mum who may not have heard this one when it was originally broadcast. The performances of the songs are spot-on, and while they offer some nice variation in places, it's just not enough to highly recommend it if you already have their other work.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2007-01-18 21:01:29