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Various Artists | Songs For A Crimson Egg Tree (Earworm)
A compilation which, as its title suggests, takes you to some parallel society, one inhabited by characters as unlikely as its landscape. The distorted four-tracked intro to Bright Eyes opening If Winter Ends transports you into the otherworldly world of Earworm, a mood-setting unease that rarely lets go until Of Montreal's chirpy closer The Problem with April (a highlight because it feels good to get back home). Between those sonic parentheses lie a multitude of misfits, the altered states of real-world counterparts: Nick Drake continues to ply his trade on the drunken cabaret circuit (or it may be Matthew Ward's Massive Orange Glow), The Apples in Stereo slip some acid into their mix (parading as The Wee Turtles), Marc Bolan is reinvented as a grunge warrior (Elf Power's reworking of Dandy In The Underworld) and The 14th Way have cross-cloned Morrison and Barrett for Your Face Is In My Mind. The bizarre asides of Midget and Hairs may lack the melodic invention of much on offer here but they'd be hard-pushed to find a more appropriate home...a nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000