Moon Mountain

Last heard from Frank Hurricane when he appeared as Hurricanes Of Love on the Quintorian Blues double LP, a solo effort which impressed us with its zeal for life, but underwhelmed us with its acoustic guitar wizardry. Today’s record Mountain Brew Light (FEEDING TUBE RECORDS FTR256) contains ten short songs from the mouth and brain of this bearded American, everything sung in a bucolic woozy style, and he’s joined by Tha Spiritual Band who contribute vocal additions and freakoid musical backdrops, sometimes played on odd instruments such as the shofar, hunting horn, and tuba. I can dig the stoned vibes, the freedom-embracing mountain-loving lifestyle that emanates from this benevolent fellow…but on this outing the actual songs are still quite pedestrian and ordinary. If it weren’t for Frank’s cracked and tuneless wailing, this wouldn’t be much more than a late Jerry Garcia solo album. Themes of spirits, spirituality and ghosts crop up a lot in the lyrics (see the printed insert) along with much colourful imagery; and then there’s the completely addled cover painting by Turner Williams, which promises a lot more in the way of frazzled rural thrills than the LP actually delivers. Not a massively unpleasant listen, and the record generates a highly positive upbeat mood; but the psychedelic details are used far too sparingly, and I wish Frank would learn to write a decent original tune instead of plodding his way around these over-familiar chord changes. From 15 November 2016.

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