Gorky's Zygotic Mynci


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The earliest work of Welsh darlings Gorky's Zygotic Mynci can be found on the Patio CD, which compiles the band's 1991-1993 radio and studio sessions. For fans of the beauty of their largely subdued latest work, it is revelatory and essential, as it showcases the vocal and melodic gifts of Euros Childs and his band in their teenage years, when his voice was much higher and the guitars were often much louder, but the reach for beautiful pop verses and choruses proved no less fruitless. Mix in a burgeoning folk and psychedelic sensibility characterized by keyboard smashing, plenty of sound, vocal and violin effects, and you have a set that shows just how much of a running start (talent-wise) this group had prior to the next five CDs and numerous EPs they'd record.

It all starts with "Peanut Dispenser," a delightful song with a contemporaneous Wedding Present-ish strum highlighted by Euros Childs' preadolescent voice singing in Welsh about Joshua, probably the band's favorite hallucinogen supplier. We then wind through the band's fuzzy world of strange characters, heartbreak, pop culture, summertime lamentation and regional pride, all displaying an early adeptness with a variety of styles, peppered with some hilarious parental scolding and other banter.

The aforementioned melodic strum-pop shows up several times, and is given a great buzz by John Lawrence's bounty of chords and crunchy solos, as on "Dafad Yn Siarad" ("Sheep Talking"), which describes the plight of a kid in school abused by others. "Siwmper Heb Grys" ("Jumper Without a Shirt") works similarly, combining an excellent rhythm section, wah wah solo and rave-up at the end into a character sketch involving a guy's infatuation with wearing his girlfriend's clothes.

The psychedelic songs retain a pop root, using Megan Childs' scratchy violins and Euros' playful keyboards to great effect on the mysterious stomper, "Gwallt Rhegi Pegi" ("Lily on the Mountain"), in which Euros stutters through a one night stand.

As the tracks progress chronologically, you can hear Childs voice start to grow deeper and an increasing attention being paid to tighter structures and ideas. The final songs, recorded in late 1992 and early 1993, reveal vocal and studio experimentation that their next two CDs, Tatay and Bwyd Time, would develop even more. "Llenni Are Gloi" ("Curtains are Closed") is a beautiful rocker with an inventive chorus about a drug death, "Anna Apera" is a whimsical observation about a little girl at the beach; but it breaks down in the middle, and contrasts its melody with spastic keyboard bursts to great effect. This one actually gets expanded upon on their next CD, which was recorded that same year. "Hi ar Gan" ("Her and the Song") closes Patio off quietly, showcasing the band's other blossoming area of expertise; while Euros sings in Welsh, "Now give her the notes/And give me the melody," Megan's lilting violin obeys, and Euros' whispered voice drifts you out. Soon, his keyboard comes in, and what you are left with is a band whose future possibilities seem limitless. [A remastered version of the CD was issued in 2002.]

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