For those who are increasingly weary of hearing bands shamelessly aping their 70s prog heroes without bringing a shred of originality to the table, Entropy Of The Century may just be this year’s most essential release.
The Californians’ second album pokes a toe into pools of seminal fluid left by the likes of Zappa, Gentle Giant and XTC at their most mischievous, but the overall impact of these swirling, octopus-limbed mini-epics is to leave the listener blinking with wide-eyed wonderment and joy at their audacious eccentricity. From the crackpot opera of Dystopian Fiction and the warped pop of the title track, through to the melodrama of Welcome To The Solar Flares and the adrenalised insanity of We Machines, MoeTar demonstrate a laudable disregard for conformity and a sense of twisted fun. This makes them akin to an American Cardiacs, albeit with the sumptuous vocals of Moorea Dickason lending everything an air of theatrical abandon and sun-bleached quirkiness that could only originate on the Pacific coast. Life-affirming melodies and subversive arrangements abound, resulting in an end product that’s infectious, enchanting and almost annoyingly brilliant. Dom Lawson