Perhaps Contraption: Mud Belief album review

A hugely creative album that won’t leave you brassed off.

Cover art for Perhaps Contraption's Mud Belief

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There can’t exactly be many prog rock brass bands in circulation, so Perhaps Contraption are highly unlikely trend setters. On paper at least, the mere notion of mixing brass and prog shouldn’t work, but the more you ponder the concept, there are no plausible reasons why such a blend couldn’t at least be intriguing. The music on Mud Belief is both baffling and endearing. At times, notably during Mystery Meat and Nobbles, their jaunty eccentricity is reminiscent of the intelligent, controlled lunacy of The Cardiacs.

But aside from the manic melody changes, Perhaps Contraption are also capable of writing tracks containing such persistent earworms that you can’t shake off their catchy allure for days. It isn’t all uplifting perkiness though, as there’s a darkness that occasionally haunts their lyrics, notably on Pillow Killer, which comes across as an instruction manual on suffocating your partner. Countless reviews will describe this band as ‘quirky’, a word that can mask a raft of deficiencies. But Perhaps Contraption are intriguing and capable of creating music of such original intensity. You’ll wonder why brass prog wasn’t a genre invented decades ago.