Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams

The Great Unravel

by Ross Langager

13 October 2008


Yes, that’s really what they call themselves. But after you’ve dragged yourself, beaten and bloodied, through all of those fourteen syllables, you’ll be presently surprised to find an entirely enjoyable easy-listening folk-rock band. You may well be left scratching your head at the specious claims to the psychedelic, particular upon consideration of frontman Joziah Longo’s dead-on Jon Bon Jovi impersonation on opener “Desire” (certainly not a U2 cover, that one) and the cornball “Everyone Has a Broken Heart”. The dreamier “Tink (I Know It’s You)” does indeed suggest Pink Floyd, and both “Summer’s Day” and “Bobby’s Kinda Dumb” wear their Syd Barrett appreciation on their sleeves. But the swirling kaleidoscope is a smokescreen; this Circus is best when it’s sad and lonesome, as on “Julia” (not a Beatles cover, that one, but worthy of the association) and the sonically-superb “Pushin’ Up Daisies”. Likeable, but misguided.

The Great Unravel


//Mixed media

Con Brio: The Best New Live Band in America?

// Notes from the Road

"There’s a preciousness to McCarter and the rest of the mostly young band. You want to freeze the moment, to make sure they are taking it all in too. Because it’s going to change.

READ the article