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Exploring, interviewing and reviewing “The Mendition of the Quay” and their debut album

February 8, 2013

Exploring, interviewing and reviewing “The Mendition of the Quay” and their debut album

In modern age of rock `n roll, there are
two types of uprising bands: those who wait for the chance, and those who are
creating chances. Young but experienced group of musicians from Connecticut
definitely belong to those who don`t sit and wait. Their name is “The Mendition
of the Quay” and as they claim: they have arrived to save the world from false
psychedelia! Although they mark themselves as psych-pop
band, this four-piece group is something much more avant-garde and
multifarious. Multi-instrumentalists and vocalists David Elliott and Justin
Martell, drummer Mike Jackman and bassist Nick Lombardo are the part of new
upcoming wave of garage rock bands who strive to succeed and cement their
position in modern music. In August 2012 they released their debut
album “Hear is.​.​. The Mendition of the Quay” on vinyl and CD and since then
perform actively most in the eastern parts of USA. This is not an album of fast guitar solos,
distortion guitars and “are you ready to rock” lyrics. This is the album made
of soul and positive energy that certainly won`t leave you indifferent. So, let`s pass through the songs in order
to perceive the music picture of this quartet.
The album opens with bluesy “The Room of
Fake Flowers”, which shows in the start that influences of this band come from
50s and 60s combined with modern approach that makes them pretty newfangled.
“Do the Tree Dance (Evan’s Leaves Fall Everywhere)” indicates the band`s
psychedelic way of artistic thinking, as the whole band is credited for this
crazy lyrics. “The Gelatin Cloud Tea Party Society” is not something you`ll
hear on TV or radio every day, but is surely something you NEED to hear in
order to catch it and understand the atmosphere that’s being created by this
band. Band also released music video for this song that is available on
YouTube. Song “Birds (Second Dream)” is a poem,
about life and things that surround us, rolled up in psych-rock. Specially for
“It`s Psychedelic Baby”, the composer and writer of this song, as well the
producer and recorder of the album – David Elliot, speaks about what inspired him
to write it.

“Birds (The Second Dream)” was a concept I first started exploring
while having lunch with my Uncle on his back porch. He’s retired now and spends
some of his time watching birds. He has all kinds of feeders and such back
there. I was watching the birds with him one day in the Summer, and I began to
explore the widely-held notion that just because birds can fly, that they are
somehow free. Certain species could probably look at the human race and say
that we are free because of our technologies, but are we really? Who knows. We
have no idea what the lives of birds are like. Anyway, the song is half about
birds, half about making bad decisions, and having to live with those
decisions. 


Fifth song from the album “M.O.S”
accompanied with Justin Martell`s voice and ukulele, David Elliot`s banjo and
Mike Jackman`s drumming, is a great “old school” song in the best manners of
Woodstock era bands, followed by great instrumental “The Odyssey of the Quay”
played on a guitar by Elliot.  His “Ship
to Shore” is a great, personal tune written in the best manners of
singer-songwriter era. The track “Not me”, as claimed by David,
was another writing research.

“Not Me” was a really fun writing experience for
the band. I wrote the music, and we all wrote the lyrics, in one creative
burst. This music for this was actually recorded live, save for vocal and bass
guitar overdubs. The room we recorded it in is constructed very obtusely, and
there is a point where the ceiling comes down into an angle with one of the walls.
So I actually pointed just one large diaphragm condenser microphone facing that
angle and we all played in that direction, very loudly. I thought it sounded
great in a raw way. We had a vision for this song that it would be a
quintessential garage tune geared towards being mad at some dame who had just
broken your heart. We all each probably had someone in mind when we wrote the
song. We usually close our shows with this one. If you can still hear anything
by the end of it, we’ve done something wrong. 


“R.M. Crump Returns from His Outing at
Flossie Pop’s Boutique” is the extension of band`s creative trip, leaving the
listener in good mood. Unique and hardly describable – must hear!
Next song, “Crystalline Textures” written
also by Elliot was inspired by some nearly apocalyptic experience. 

“Crystalline
Textures” is one of my favorite songs that I’ve written. It was entirely
influenced by a really bad ice storm that happened when I was in my senior year
of college, in Massachusetts, December 2008. It was really surreal and unlike
anything I had ever experienced. It rained really heavily all afternoon and
night, and then the temperature dropped and everything froze over. All of a
sudden, trees all around us just started falling to the ground. My roommate and
I took a walk around the campus during the worst of it and I was just entranced
over how everything was just frozen over and crystalline. The area was deemed
in a state of emergency by the government, and the power went out for what must
have been over a week. It was honestly just total destruction. During the
outage, I wrote the song on my banjo, which was the only instrument I had
handy. The first thing I did when the power came back was record a demo of the
track in my bedroom. The banjo track was done in one take and ended up being in
the final version of the song. Our drummer Mike always jokes about how
apocalyptic the song is, but it was written in the midst of devastation, so it
isn’t too far off. 


Full of act song “Uncle Lettuce and the
Saucy Alabaster Meet the Paisley Brigadier (Butterscotch Pop)” comes next and
sounds more like a product of a long night experimenting jam session, as the
lyrics are contributed by all recording band members, although the music was
written by David. With words “Spaceship is about to land,
we`ll be back to you again…” the closing track called “The Sun-Drenched Voyage”
is announcing the end of this fun and interesting music journey, provided by
The Mendition of the Quay, great uprising band which doesn`t care about music trends
and standards.

“The Sun-Drenched Voyage” was another one we all wrote together.
We sort of think of it as our anthem. It really sets the mood, which is ironic
because it is the final track on the album, but we almost always open our shows
with it. It’s sort of a nice summation of what just happened on the album. It
makes references to the other songs. Much of it is self-aware delusions of
grandeur. “The oceans will flood the land / at the sound of this groovy
band.” We thought that was a pretty funny line. As if our absurd album
would cause some sort of damnation for non-believers of psych-rock while
simultaneously saving all true believers in what pretty much amouts to a space
vessel that’s being driven by us, presumably to another planet. We hope you will
join us!
In addition to this avant-garde psychedelic
quartet`s debut album review, I asked David a couple of questions regarding
their perception of today`s psychedelic music, plans and music influences.
David, you mentioned that your band has
arrived to save the planet from false psychedelia. Where do you think
psychedelia is going right now?

This was something that back in 2008 we
thought really summed up the whole project. It kind of aligns itself with the
sentiment of The Sun-Drenched Voyage. I feel that the term psychedelia is
frequently misappropriated by certain types of music that isn’t really
psychedelic but just kind of weird or trancey. I actually think the state of
true psychedelia is in very good shape today. I love a lot of current psych bands,
such as The Black Angels, White Fence, The UFO Club, Tame Impala, etc. There
are a lot of great bands making phenomenal psych music and we are pretty much
throwing our hat in the ring to attempt to do the same. So to get back to your
question, it’s more our attempt at helping to bring REAL psych back.
How do you plan to promote your debut album
“Here is” in modern age? Does this kind of music have its place on
the TV, or are the internet and live gigs the only way?

Promoting an album in the modern era is
very strange, indeed. I think much of it has to do with the availability of
near-professional home recording (which we, ourselves, benefit from). It’s
great that so many bands are making great music in their homes and putting it
out on the web, but at the same time, it makes it that much harder to stand out
to an audience. The playing field is basically completely level for unsigned
bands. As for whether our music has a place on TV, I think all of the members
of our band are pretty much in agreement that it is very much a niche genre.
Our live show is infinitely more accessible than our album. It’s weird, but
pretty rocking, and you can definitely dance and psych out to it, which we
love. We are far weirder in the studio. It probably has a place on TV. We have
found that people appreciate what we’re doing when we have a chance to show it
to them. It’s getting that chance that is the hard part! The internet and live
gigs certainly help.
Who are your role models, or idols?
We all have different influences and idols.
Personally, I have always been captivated by the studio works of Curt Boettcher
and Gary Usher. Particularly, ‘Begin’ by the Millennium, the Sagittarius album
‘Present Tense’ and the Chad & Jeremy album ‘The Ark.’ They keyed into some
kind of magic that is almost impossible to imitate — I wouldn’t even try. I
also love ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’ by the Small Faces. The giddiness of it
always puts a smile on my face. It’s psychedelic but also really good-natured and
positive at the same time. Some of my best-known influenced include Jefferson
Airplane’s ‘Surrealistic Pillow,’ Moby Grape’s first album and ‘Part One’ by
the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. Also all the psych stuff that the
Tower label put out in the mid to late 1960’s. I’m also really just a big fan
of ’60’s pop and garage. I started collecting records when I was very young and
have never looked back. Countless singles and albums have influenced me. I
could rewrite my answer to this question probably a thousand times over.
Justin has been a lifelong fan of Tiny Tim
and has even written a book about him that will be published in the
near-future. It is considered the all-time most definitive document of the man
and his music. There is so much more to him than what most people know! Justin
also really digs Donovan.
Mike loves the Beach Boys and is an avid
Beatles fan. He has a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of the Beach Boys. It’s
very impressive!
Lombardo, who joined us after we recorded
our first album and is now our full-time bassist, loves Jack White and Bob
Dylan, and also late ’70’s punk rock.
What would be the message for readers of
It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine?
My message for readers of “It`s
psychedelic baby” is to simply keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re on
this site reading about music, you’ve already got it more figured out than most
people. Psych music has always been the most rewarding type of music to me, and
this is where you will find the best!
Interview & review made by Andrija
Babovic/2013
© Copyright
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
One Comment
  1. Justin A. Martell

    Thank you for the great write up!

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