Pram - Somniloquy
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Pram
Somniloquy

Having just released their disc The Museum Of Imaginary Animals last year, Pram is already back with a new EP worth of material. And actually, although it's being courted and marketed as an EP, the release features 9 songs and almost 45 minutes of music, so that would count as a full-length in most books (and is indeed almost as long as their last release). 1 of the tracks ("Mother Of Pearl") is from that former release, while there are 3 new tracks and 5 different remixes.

As I stated in my release of that The Museum Of Imaginary Animals, "Mother Of Pearl" is a great track. It sort of the epitomy of where the band is at now, mixing nice little live horn bursts with some sorta kooky sounds behind it all and Rosie Cuckston's semi-off key vocals providing the almost nursery rhyme vocals. It's probably their most hummable track to date. "The Way Of The Mongoose" is an instrumental track that mixes some cymbal shimmers with other strange little noises and a keyboard melody before taking off nicely.

The other two new tracks are nice, but nothing outstanding, which sort of leads to my one problem with Pram. Although I enjoy them as a group, and they have changed up their sound slightly throughout the years (I own a couple of their albums), they don't change up things so much that you'd need to hear more than a couple discs by them to get the gist of things. Fortunately, that's where the remixes come in, and while they don't stray a lot from the original sounds, they're a nice addition. Plone (a very logical choice given their sweetly strange tracks on For Beginner Piano) turns in a remix of "Bewitched" that adds some of their trademark sounds without changing much else. Likewise, the Balkey Mule Mix of "Play Of The Waves" swirls things up a bit, but that's about it.

It's the last three mixes on the disc that really sparkle. The Terry Funken mix of "Omnichord" cranks up the weirdness factor of the track with almost cartoon sound effects, as well as expanding on the rhythm section to give the track even more swagger while Andy Votel also thickens up the beat a little and gives a dub injection to "The Last Astronaut." If you're a fan of Pram, you're obviously going to want this, but overall it's less than I was expecting. The new tracks are good, but not outstanding, and the remixes are just about the same, with nobody really stepping out and messing with the formula a lot. Basically, good.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00