THE MUFFINS — Chronometers (review)

THE MUFFINS — Chronometers album cover Album · 1993 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
SaltyJon
Chronometers is a collection of unreleased recordings from the mid 70s by the Muffins. The album has tracks of all sizes, starting with the title track epic at 22 minutes, down to tracks which barely last for half a minute. The album was released by Cuneiform, and gives listeners a good idea of what the Muffins were doing before releasing their excellent debut. The pieces are generally pretty good. Some parts of tracks, throw in some of the band's weird humor more than others. For example, the title track has random bits where they inserted clips from The Wizard of Oz or re-enacted them themselves. It adds a certain dream-like atmosphere to the track, which is fun.

I can't help but compare this album to the group's official debut (Manna/Mirage). The album as a whole is similar in style to that album, but it seems less focused, less well-prepared than their official debut to me. It seems just a tad bit too long as well, as it's almost full to the brim. Some of the tracks feel like they could have been cut, but then again a lot of the tracks after the epic seem to run into each other to make multi-track epics of their own.

Overall, this one doesn't quite live up to the expectations I had after hearing the debut. However, the group still displays excellent musicianship, and their style is starting to come into its own on the recordings here. It's a good album overall, right around the 3.5 star range - not quite excellent, but better than just plain "good."
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