Given the dream-like quality of this, it is perhaps no coincidence that Northampton four piece Mooch used to be called Lounge Act. Indeed, lounging around to ‘Mellow Drama’ is possibly the only activity one can do to this four-track demo.
Actually, that’s harsh. There’s enough on ‘Mellow Drama’ to keep the listener on their toes. Startling intermittent guitar noise punctuates the druggy ambience, especially on the blissful ‘Down River’, while Cassie Jean Baptiste’s world-weary voice sounds like a cross between Portishead's Beth Gibbons and The Cocteau Twins' Liz Frazer.
For sure, ‘Mellow Drama’ is something one has to listen to. Intently. To dismiss these tracks as mere Portishead outtakes is just lazy, and lumping them in with anything by the likes of Norah Jones or Amy Winehouse is to do them a disservice. For a start you’ll miss the subtle Pink Floyd influence on ‘Two Lost Souls’ or the disarming similarity between ‘Head In Hands’ and Radiohead’s ‘No Surprises’.
‘Mellow Drama’ is not ‘lounge core’, it’s far more interesting than that. There’s something ‘of the night’ about it. Quite how one markets Mooch is a problem for the A&R men – is there anyone out there up for a challenge? Hope so.
7Anthony Gibbons's Score