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Cotton Mather | Kontiki (Rainbow Quartz)
In 1994 Cotton Mather released their debut, Cotton Is King, and whilst it was a pleasant pop record, nothing on it hinted at the masterpiece that is Kontiki. Recorded on 4-track and A-DAT machines in mainman Robert Harrison's garage Cotton Mather have produced a 24-carat classic. Mixing heartfelt ballads (Spin My Wheels, Lily Dreams On) with power-pop gems (Password, Vegetable Row) and lo-fi soundbites (Animal Show Drinking Song, Aurora Bori Alice). The result is a release dripping with hooks, harmonies and beauty. Criticisms from some quarters have questioned the similarity of Harrison's voice to that of JOHN LENNON (that'll be me then ?? Ed) and, sure, it's a reference point; but it's a minor quibble given the inventiveness, depth and quality of the recordings. Listening to it now, eighteen months after its original US release, I still find myself wrapped up in the experience. On it's belated UK release, Kontiki has caused quite a buzz, (She's Only Cool made 'single of the week' on Radio 1), garnering rave reviews and, with live shows to boot, commercial success may lie just around the corner for Cotton Mather.

Shaun May
CWAS #4 - Winter 1998/9 - The Lost Issue