26 August 2013

Mumm-Ra - These Things Move In Threes


Just what is it with this group, Mumm-Ra? Formed in their early teens at the turn of the Millennium, one well received album then almost without warning or any reasons given they all decide to take a break from 2008. Well, four years down the line they picked up where they had left off, an official reformation was confirmed in 2013 and now there's the announcement of new material.

As fans of the 1980s animated series Thundercats will no doubt know, the group from the South Coast took their name from a regular villain from the show. Several rock radio stations introduced Mumm-Ra with some fanfare and enthusiasm in the mid noughties, rubbing shoulders along the same generation of indie rockers The Automatic and The View.

These Things Move In Threes is to date their only album release, then immediately afterwards they disbanded. So with the group now back together and churning out more songs, I thought to look at this and decipher what the brouhaha was all about in 2007. First and foremost, James "Noo" New sings with a pronounced Sussex accent, their music sounds airy without getting too high and yet it all feels close to the members' hearts and minds.

She's Got You High - Official Video

They've had moderate chart success with She's Got You High and Out Of The Question, both are fine confident tracks so what about the remainder of the album? The title track has some very urgent but diligent beats as well as Song B which has certainly some memorable chord structure along with some puppy dog enthusiasm that seems to have emerged from a Stiff Records cut. The theme continues with Sick Deal which reminds me a little of Stranglers' Dave Greenfield's busy keyboard work until some Brit pop-ish strings asserts some identity into the tune. One of their best showings.

There's more violin and cello arrangement in the acoustic and mellower Light Up This Room while Starlight tells of the lamenting of a failed relationship, and there's some curious bleeps in This Is Easy which changes a few strands of the song around every verse. The seven minute opus Down Down Down closes TTMIT with a heavy piano lead and trailing off into the distance.

Before the breakup, Mumm-Ra showcased some new material suggesting that the 'difficult' second album would always be in the pipeline. As a listener from a different part of the country, it takes a little time for "Noo"'s Anglicised and sometimes delicate vocals to grow on me, but that's just personal taste and I can certainly live with it. It took seven years from the formation of the band to come up with their first record and it must be said These Things Move In Threes is a beautifully crafted and imaginative piece and is worthy of all the plaudits that The 'Ra have received. Will the follow up be able to carry the torch of its predecessor? M. Richardson 26/08/2013

8 out of ten. Oh, now you have my attention, and maybe my money, time and heart.

The album is available for purchase here on Amazon
Some of the album tracks as well as single releases are available to listen to here on Deezer
Click on here for Mumm-Ra's official website

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