The aural pleasure created by this somewhat mysterious trio of London musicians continues to accrue. After two fine self-released records (one a 7”, th’ other a 12”), and the superb Drip Water Hollow Out Stone on the great Ever/Never label, Feeding Tube is honored to present the Mosquitoes’s latest assault on the temples of beauty.
The music on Vortex is of a piece with earlier recordings. By this, I mean there is a wonderfully “out” approach to basic rock instrumentation and vocals, which detourns the basic assumptions listeners have about what rock instruments sound like. A good number of bands have done this in the modern era, from This Heat to U.S. Maple, but the only band the Mosquitoes continually call to my mind is late period Mars. That NYC unit had pretty much destroyed conventions of song and structure by the time they called it a day, and the instrumental/vocal mangling these guys do is equally brilliant,
They really take every piece of sound apart and put it back together in a weird way. There are passages on Vortex that actually make me think of early Suicide as well (I think they use amp-noise-loops to approximate Rev’s keyboards), but none of the music here has the aggression of Suicide. Instead, it projects a transcendent sense of confusion that is as head-scratching as it is appealing.
If you like your music to be equal parts brains and power, you won’t find many things more satisfying than the music of the Mosquitoes. Every one of their records is great. And they just keep getting better. How lucky for you.
Byron Coley, 2019