Mud Pie Sun – Wooden Circle

Summer is winding down and the bleakness of the 9 to 5 has becoming abundantly clear. With this epoch of coldness and long nights approaching, all that seems to remain of those blissful days in the sun appears to be memories. Yet there may be other ways to proactively engage in those grand nothings of weeks ago. Beginning with a 45 second hymn to the hybrid that is the natural world and lofi distortions, Mud Pie Sun’s “Wooden Circle” is an album which speaks to this role with unfaltering commitment.

Released two months ago, in early August, 2012, “Wooden Circle” spans 45 mins with everything you could ever want from a psychedelic lofi, garage rock band. Yet more importantly, they are able to give the flow of the album, as a whole, a more inclusive feel with such tinges of genres as folk and classic rock. For a music reviewer, then, it can prove to be challenging. All too often, writers such as myself want to clump whatever act we are covering into more well-known acts. Yet, for Mud Pie Sun, this task proves to be far more difficult. Sure, as you are listening to “Wooden Circle“, a couple of bands come to mind such as White Fence or Jesus and Mary Chain. There is still, however, a classical feel to the album which makes them come across as a group all to their own.

This compliment, in my opinion, stems on the story of the album, as well as the group, itself. Dating back to 1989, Mud Pie Sun is made up of Steven and Tom, who released a multitude of smaller releases and EP’s until settling on writing a full length. Thus, recording of “Wooden Circle” began in 2004, with segments of guitar dating as far back as even 1993. However, a hiatus due to distance and careers forced the duo to stall on their progress. Leaving a half finished product yearning to be discovered once more, it would take a long 5 years before the album would transcend into its final form. So what does this all mean for the listener? Well, for one, it is incredible for me to listen to as it seems to be an album which reflects nearly two decades of work and influence. As a college student, this essentially means my whole life, which gives particular emphasis to the maturity of this album as it expresses emotions and experiences which I am only beginning to understand or have yet to even encounter. In addition, however, the album itself appears to clearly grow, from the beginning to the end. With each track, a new sort of dynamism emerges, giving the sensation that I can only describe from listening to an entire Guided by Voices album straight.

If it hasn’t become clear yet, let me just go ahead and explain it: I loved this album however I struggle to convey the kind of journey Mud Pie Circle’s “Wooden Circle” takes you on. The best way I could dream to suggest listening to this album would probably be on the beginning of a long road trip because the rhythm guitar alone will make you feel as though you are trucking down I-95. Regardless of if it’s on the road or in your bedroom, I would highly suggest grabbing a copy of “Wooden Circle” for yourself and even get ready to see the duo play live in the near future. After all, with a live set in the making, who knows: maybe Dissociative Identity Productions will get lucky and get the Mud Pie Sun to perform a live instudio at WKDU Philadelphia, 91.7 fm. I won’t press my luck despite to say, with the end of summer, at least I have Mud Pie Sun’s “Wooden Circle” to cope me over.

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– Cliff

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