MiRthkon: Snack(s)

A selection box of tasty, oddly-titled avant-prog treats.

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The California band’s second full album serves up arresting, audacious, and frequently intense confections, part quirky math-rock, part baroque woodwind ensemble, part art-rock with huge dollops of Zappa.

Opener QXP-13 Space Modulator is a jaunty ride headlong into an intricate landscape of quickfire instrumental flurries, with ever-present deep sax and clarinet sounds adding strangeness. Eat A Bag Of DiX and the title track use around 20 different time signatures between them, along with seemingly relentless metric and melodic modulations.

It’s a welcome shift when the band get into a groove. With a funky punk vibe, Hapax Legomena implies a meeting of Gentle Giant and Zappa circa ‘86 while Nocturne, op. 33 is the band’s lovely, respectful, interpretation of a piano piece by Samuel Barber.

It’s unlikely you’ll have heard a more slippery and discomfiting take on Sabbath’s Fairies Wear Boots than the one that closes this album – you have been warned! MiRthkon is to be applauded for taking such risks in their composition, arrangement and performance, but they need to be careful not to get filed under ‘Too Damn Clever For Their Own Good’…