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MP3 Myssouri - FurnaceSongs

A ride down the black highway. Dark, cool, carnivorous. Johnny Cash in Hell, maybe. Brooding, moody, evocative, cinematic. Myssouri. (pronounced like the state).

5 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Goth, ROCK: Americana

"Another interesting thing about Myssouri is that they are TRUE indie rock. They don''t even try and find some obscure label to release their music -- they do it all themselves. Furnace Songs is their second self-released disc. It is an EP and a follow up to 1999''s Malamerica. What is interesting to me about this whole phenomenon is that Myssouri''s releases have all been exceedingly well produced. That is, i would expect a band who does all of it''s own releases to sound a little "raw" on disc. Not Myssouri -- their sound is clear and precise. They obviously spend a lot of time working to get things perfect, and it shows.

Furnace Songs is 5 tracks worth of well produced gothic western goodness. Let me examine each song in turn.

The EP starts off with "Ride You Down", a song which sets the disc moving with a strong rhythm, like a train, or driving on the highway. Appropriate, considering the song title. Ride You Down features competent guitars and vocals with insistent drumming to good effect. I have listened to this disc many times, and enjoyed this track much. Yesterday i took it to work to listen to as i wrote code and prepared for this review, and I discovered something subtle: if you listen to this on headphones there are really eerie whispered backing vocals at certain points. I didn''t hear them until I had headphones on. Anyway, these make the song much creepier with headphones than without.
Track 2 is called "Malimony", which is a nice song with slow mournful slide guitar. The drumming is less insistent here, in fact, it kind of meanders throught the song, until the end when drums, vocals, and guitars build to a really powerful crescendo.
That crescendo fades, and the next track "Muscle Car On A Dead End Road" starts slowly. This track kind of plods along until the chorus, where the song swells, the guitars thunder, and vocalist Michael Bradley bellows. Suddenly, you are in the muscle car with him, unwilling passenger as some possessed soul tears dawn a dark road (presumably in West Texas somewhere), fearing for your life and yet exhilarating at the speed and terror of the ride.... This track is epic and good.
Next comes Devil On My Shoulder, which directly inspired one of our Myssouri-isms. The guitars change on this song, becoming punk-y and distorted. The insistent drum beat is back, carried over from the end of Muscle Car On A Dead End Road, and Bradley sings deep and dark. This track continues the paranoia/exhilaration combo of the previous song. It ends with a flurry of EVIL: the whole band joins Michael in yelling, as if Myssouri were the "chorus of demons" in the song.
To wrap the EP up Myssouri give us a relief from the paranoia of the last few tracks. One Holy Thing seems to offer salvation where the previous songs offered only damnation. I think this is because Bradley sings "Hosannah" repeatedly in the chorus, and I am taken back to my childhood singing that in Catholic churches. This is a sad slow song, with beautiful keyboards. It invokes the solemness of a Catholic Mass. The song, and the EP, end with a long mournful guitar arpeggios. Quite beautiful.
Furnace Songs is a strong EP. It is very good for it''s genre -- goth or western rock. Myssouri do what they do very well.
I must say one thing though: there is some ineffable quality to their live performance that is not captured here. It could be that Bradley sings with greater passion when there is a crowd looking at him. It could be that the dynamic interplay between the various musicians is greater when they play live as opposed to in the studio. It could be that I am not as beer-buzzed listening to this EP as I am at their concerts. Or it could be that a mere piece of plastic can never quite express the sheer power of a group of people gathered in front of you bellowing out these songs as if the devil were, in fact, rustling their cattle!
This is an enjoyable listen, but if you have the chance, go see them live.
Reviewed by: PostLibyan


"Music that must be lived in to be understood, not merely listened to and forgotten. Musically influenced by the Western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone and lyrically influenced by the frontier-gothic of Cormac McCarthy, Myssouri create vast and desolate soundscapes pocked with the sprawling ghost towns of the heart." --Chad Driscoll, https://www.tradebit.com

"Less ''darkwave,'' as they''ve been tagged, than a continuation of the grisly depths of the psyche that shadow figures like Nick Cave and Michael Gira have explored, Myssouri offer a compelling argument for never smiling on their debut CD, Malamerica. Conversely stark and grand in all the necessary places, the group pulls it off admirably."--Jeff Clark, Stomp and Stammer

"Wow. To give you a slight indication of what this is like - think of the musical genius of the Swans, the poetic lyrics of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the stylish and twangy groove of Johnny Cash and perhaps the artistic madness of the Doors. This is pure soul - a soundtrack to the dark journey of humanity set amidst tumbleweeds and blowing desert wind. Myssouri presents its view of the world with profound lyrics and vocals that squeeze every emotion out of them. The musicianship is superb - bass, guitar and rhythm guitar layered and singing their individual parts perfectly against the steady and driving drumbeat. The buzz is strong on this band; their musical talent is getting rave reviews from listeners as well as fellow musicians. Jarboe (ex Swans) has recently recruited vocalist/guitarist Michael Bradley to work on her newest project. Not band for a band just formed in 1998. This is stuff legends are made of."--Blu, EDITOR, https://www.tradebit.com

"Have you ever come over a rise in the road and seen something from a dream long ago? Something so beautiful and frightening and glorious that you can''t breathe? This is what I felt from the very first notes of this CD. I felt, "I have heard this before. I have dreamt this before." This is directly from the Collective Unconscious-- straight up, no chaser. With all the grace and sad delight of And Also The Trees, Myssouri build a world so dark and so lovely that there is no way to escape it; better yet, there is no DESIRE to escape it. Imagine a hot summer night full of Spanish Moss and Kudzu, drunk on sweet cheap wine; desperate sex in the cemetery, all stumbling limbs and bleeding mouths, and it''s the last time because it simply cannot ever happen again, by virtue of wars external or internal or fully hallucinatory, and it''s all for nothing and there is no hope and the ravens circle overhead and the road never ends and now you''re getting the idea of where this CD will leave you when its finished with you."--Kirin,https://www.tradebit.com

"It''s rare when a band comes along with a new sound that truly stands out, but the bizarrely named Atlanta group MYSSOURI manages to do precisely that. After opening with the brief, compelling instrumental title track--a soundscape that''s part U2, part Ennio Morricone--their debut disc Malamerica becomes a dark platform for the tortured yet ascendant vocals of bandleader Michael Bradley, whose voice sways dramatically on a cold wind like a corpse at the end of (a) hangman''s rope."--Gregory Nicoll, Creative Loafing, April 1999

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