Norway - Full Moon 171 - 08/24/10
The Loch Ness Mouse
Flair for Dardjeeling - Deluxe Edition
LNM's debut has been taken down from the shelf, unearthed and rereleased along with a bonus disc with 11 tracks off two EPs, a single, a compilation album and two
previously unreleased songs. We took a closer look at the original album when it was released 11 years ago and interviewed
the band about it at the same time. So, let's concentrate on the extra disc, called Flair for Skulerud, shall we?
Four of the bonus tracks come from The Ceylon Sailor EP (from 2000). Two are from an American single called Busman's Holiday
(2001). The title track off the latter is another great example of LNM's guitar pop craftsmanship and deals with the Loch Ness monster myth, methinks. On the flip is a
Beach Boys song by Brian Wilson called "Girl Don't Tell Me" (off the 1965 Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) album), a nice reencounter with a LNM live favourite
10-12 years ago, though it used to turn wilder and rockier on stage. It sounds unmistakably like an LNM song. "Harmony Highschool", a self penned song off the Ceylon
EP, on the other hand, sounds as close to a typical Beach Boys classic as can be. "Southerby's", previously unreleased, was recorded during the Ceylon Sailor session,
another fine little slice of perfect slightly melancholic pop. One of the highlights here. It comes with a merry-go-round organ solo towards the end. The other new goodie
is "No Flowers For Florine" by the German band The Bartlebees, another jangly little guitar band in close relation with Norwegian The Tables
and inspired by English The Television Personalities. It was supposed to be released on a Japanese tribute album to Bartlebees, but
it never saw the light of day. It doesn't quite sound as typical LNM as the Beach Boys cover version and even includes some spoken radio voice in the beginning and psychedelic
backward effects towards the end. On the ebb side is a cover of Astroburger's very first song to be released on a record "She's A Girl"
off a 10 inch vinyl album called I smell an ambush! A tribute to Astroburger and "Goodbye Helena" off LNM's debut EP From The Country Side. The latter was
recorded as early as 1993. "My Old Coat" and a couple of songs on the original Darjeeling album proves that the boys had the scent for cunning guitar pop and power-pop
even at that early stage.
There are a few things that make this Deluxe Edition a bit Hype'ish, though. Your average Deluxe Edition includes a thick booklet with lyrics, stories, anecdotes and
facts about the songs and recordings and some funny old photographs. No booklet in sight here. Also, the bonus disc only lasts 30 minutes and the original one 38. So,
all songs presented here might have fitted onto one disc without any problems. But, since the discs are filled with delightful songs, we really don't need to complain.
In particular "Titanic Nick" off the The Ceylon Sailor EP is a true classic, maybe the highlight of LNM's entire recorded catalogue.
And btw., there's a brand new seven inch split single around with a new Loch Ness Mouse track called "Small Scale (3000ft High And Still Rising)". I haven't heard it
yet, but according to the LNM home page, it's 'perhaps a sort of return to the Beach Boys inspired harmony gospel of their
second album Key West'.
Copyright © 2010 JP