Robyn Hitchcock

Mossy Liquor: Outtakes & Prototypes

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Mossy Liquor: Outtakes & Prototypes Review

by Daniel Browne

As its vinyl-only status suggests, Mossy Liquor is an album of curiosities intended for hardcore fans. It consists of demos and leftovers from the sessions that produced Hitchcock's masterful Moss Elixir album. The demos don't differ drastically from the finished versions (with the exception of "Alright Yeah," which appears here in Swedish), just an extra dose of Deni Bonet's creative violin accompaniment here, some extra guitar picking there. That means the outtakes are the real meat of the matter, and while they don't add up to a feast, they certainly make a nourishing midnight snack for the hungry Hitchcock loyalist. "Cool Bug Rumble" is thinly veiled sex talk ("I got a cool bug rumble/and she rides a vertical bean") set to a bluesy shuffle. "Each of Her Silver Wands" is Gregorian chant meets psychedelia. Both "As Lemons Chop" and "Trilobite" find our hero indulging his more obtuse lyrical tendencies. The highlights are the lovely, folky instrumental, "Shuffling Over the Flagstones," and the delicate, poetic ballad, "Wide Open Star." Bottom line: anyone dedicated enough to track down this rare collection will be happy with its contents.

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