Cotton Mather Kontiki (Deluxe Version) – Can I Have a Witness?
In the beginning there was a band out of Austin Texas called Cotton Mather. Having named themselves after a 17th century preacher, they made a great record that was truly a revelation. No one noticed. This Lp, entitled Kontiki, had it’s devout followers across the pond and received rave reviews from some critics but the record was crucified by an entertainment industry in a state of flux and the conservative nature of corporate radio. Thanks to a few revivalists and Kickstarter, Cotton Mather Kontiki, the deluxe version is here in all it’s glory.
There’s nothing like an old time revival. Thanks to Kickstarter and the help of some friends, the gospel according to Harrison (that’s Robert…and George too, really) is available again. Get on your Sunday go-to-meetinz’, kids. We’re going to the Church of Wilson.
Can I have an Amen?!
Unlike the original Kontiki, the deluxe release is a double disc affair. Think of disc one as the old testament to how good this band really was and disc two as the new testament to their lasting greatness. Disc one is the original Kontiki release, disc two has been added as a bonus with alternative takes, acoustic versions, and previously unreleased tracks.
From the tape recorded bursts at the beginning of “Camp Hill Rail Operator” to the unforgettably hook filled “She’s Only Cool”, we’re on a joy ride, a Magical Mystery Tour for the 21st century, even if the disc was recorded in 1997. Several songs from this LP could sit comfortably in the same pew as The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and “Little Star” (from the bonus disc) could pass for a John Lennon piece. “Vegetable Row” is right out of the gospel according to Dylan. And, from the Book of Cobain, Cotton Mather gives us a great, grungy offering called “Church of Wilson”.
Good God almighty!!
The hooks on songs like “Vegetable Row” and “Private Ruth” catch one off-guard because they begin in a well of odd sounds that becomes increasingly melodic and beautiful, so that the noise one once heard has become the matrix of the sound of the universe. Om. Or maybe that’s um, because one isn’t always sure where one has traveled to on the wings of song. You just know you were flying. – Steve Horowitz of PopMatters
NPR called it “the album that won’t go gently”.
This is a truly wonderful record, one that, if there is a God in heaven, will finally get the attention it deserved so long ago.
Can I get a witness?