SPRATLEYS JAPS-PONY, CD, 1999, UK MP3/Flac
Drop dead brilliant psych pop moves from this throat-lump-inducing Cardiacs offshoot, whose mellotron swaddled upfullness and tone of mad glee (tempered relative to the unhinged hysteria of The Cardiacs, but still maniacal) make Spratleys Japs a prime contender for best psych band of the 90's. Pony is an album full of strange tensions and contrasts from both a musical and production standpoint, with the now-expansive-now-constricted compress-o-phile attack here both strongly relating to the tone that The Cardiacs were striking on albums of the period like Guns or Sing To God, as well veering far off track from the vein-bulging prog/pop/punk histrionics heard on those, with several key pieces here basking in resplendent mellotron sun rays and grandiose hymnals before doubling down into a wiry little ball and exploding in another starburst of unhinged monkey business.
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