The Mommyheads

Bingham's Hole

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Far and away the Mommyheads' best album, Bingham's Hole also may win the title for "least heard best record of the mid-'90s." Incorporating delicately picked, Television-like Fender guitar chiming, ultra-catchy power pop infused tenor vocal melodies, and a snap-tight rhythm section, the group has fully realized a record of astounding ambition and scope. Sounding at times like a much more listenable XTC mixed with the Raspberries and featuring the better qualities of several more chopsy bands such as the Jefferson Airplane, Yes, Pink Floyd and Adrian Belew-era King Crimson, the Mommyheads make truly progressive music in the best sense of the term. The musicianship is superb, with special mention going to bassist Jeff Palmer, who's sinewy, melodic lines, while supportive, often carry the already amazing songs to new heights of melodicism and rhythmic variety. Production values are also excellent, and engineer Peter Katis here turns in, with the possible exception of his fantastic work with heavy metal parodyists Satanicide, perhaps the best effort of his career. Put simply, it is a sorry shame that this album did not receive greater recognition at the time of its release and any fan of power pop, prog rock, or indie pop should make every effort to search out this superlative recording.

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