Medicine Head

Two Man Band

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Abandoning their attempts to record an album with a full five-piece band (the sessions were finally released in 2005), John Fiddler and Peter Hope-Evans returned to basics with an album titled for precisely what it is: a two-man band. And what a corker it is. History records Medicine Head as heading into a terminal nosedive once they left Polydor, the label with whom they scored their biggest hits -- and, commercially, that's precisely what happened. Musically, however, the duo remained on the cutting edge of that strangely folky, somewhat psychy, and extraordinarily English sound that they'd pioneered all along, with Hope-Evans' multi-instrumentalist eye for oddities a constant humming, drumming, throbbing heartbeat around Fiddler's coolly curious vocals. Certainly there is no reason on Earth why the likes of "It's Natural" and "Me and Suzie (Hit the Floor)" didn't chase "Rising Sun" and "One and One Is One" into the U.K. charts -- no reason, that is, beyond the inefficiency of their label of the day -- and those with soft spots for the hits they recall will discover nothing here to offset that affection.

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