Molly Bloom - Molly Bloom

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 41:37:00

Molly Bloom is an indie / alternative band from Manchester, UK. This self-titled release is a great bit of fun, blending the good time sounds of English pub-rock with influences from an eclectic bunch of groups. One hears references to Jethro Tull in Steve Dundon's fine flute work, and nods to Traffic and Gryphon in the songwriting and arrangements. We also hear influences of pop and ska.

This release is made up almost entirely of acoustic arrangements with a few passages of synthesizers. The sound is usually flute, accordion and keys by Danny Ashberry, Terry Moses on guitar, and bass and mandolin, played by Derek Smith, backed up by Christion Jacobs on drums. The lyrics are generally light hearted, with a few odes to failed relationships, usually done with a sort of comic dread. Disturbed people, bad haircuts, bad vacations, dangerous, crazy girlfriends, that sort of thing, you know?

This self produced album could have done with a larger budget for the studio, but all in all, the production values are decent, and this is a very done, listenable effort.

One of the highlights of this release is the CDs opening track, "Mistress Winter," sounding like an acoustic Madness with Ian Anderson sitting in on flute, and it kicks things off with a bang. The lead vocals by Danny Ashberry are quite well done. Dunodon plays like a dedicated student of Anderson circa 1971, and the familiar trills and flourishes that we instantly recognize as Anderson's signature are heard all over this CD.

The cuts "Molly Bloom" and "Le Ciel Se Dechirait" are both great examples of the traditional folky aspect of the group's sound, faithful to the Celtic influences, and both beautifully done. These cuts would not sound out of place at a celidh, the traditional Irish party. Terry Moses's guitar work is quite good on these two cuts, and I must note that his play on this entire release is strong and nimble.

The band hits their peak, in my opinion, with a string of cuts, "If," "Blood," and "Bullets With My Name On," where they mix their gentle acoustic sound with some more energetic and dark elements. Flutist Steve Dundon performs the lead vocal on all of these, and does himself well with his strong tenor voice. "If" features a synth. accompaniment, and "Blood" starts out with some very fleet fingered guitar work. This cut also features a good blend of accordion and Dundon's very appealing flute play. "Bullets With My Name On" is a melancholy piece with a lovely guitar and more hearty flute work accenting the well performed vocals. This cut uses some heavier drumming from Jacob to build some tension, and this song is the standout piece in this collection, to my ears.

This release is, overall, a fairly respectable debut from this talented group. The musicianship, especially Dundon's flute and Moses's guitar are outstanding, and the bands songwriting is well developed and unique. To hear music that takes so much that is familiar and goes in such a substantially different direction with it is refreshing, and this release is lighthearted and enjoyable without being lightweight.

Mistress Winter (3:17), Sprite Night (4:00), Stevie Winwood Haircut (2:34), Molly Bloom (4:13), Le Ciel Se Dechirait (4:08), If (4:56), Blood (4:38), Bullets With My Name On (5:28), A Merry Band Of Lads (3:56), 50,000 Camels (4:21)

Terry Moses - guitar
Stephon Dundon - flute, whistle, vocals
Derek Smith - bass guitar, mandolin
Cristion Jacobs - drums, percussion
Danny Ashberry - accordion, keyboards, vocals

Molly Bloom (2002)
The Green Fence (ep) (2003)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: May 2nd 2004
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Artist website:
Hits: 809
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]