[14 August 2007]
If you can’t imagine an inspired amalgamation of Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and Wowee Zowee, then you can experience it on “The Miraculous Birth of the Mystery Child”, the stomping, carnival barker opening salvo on The End’s in the Beginning. Montreal’s Percy Farm, the gloriously ramshackle phoenix from the ashes of Shoot the Moon, is led by Daniel Schacter, who directs a wide array of creative activities with confidence, much enthusiasm, and skills to back it all up. “Mister Grinch” pulses with sweetly sinister organ and Schacter alternating his fuzzed out vocals with the crystalline pipes of former Shoot the Moon lead vocalist Nadia Bashalani. “Sarah Got Her Freedom” lovingly evokes Malkmus & Co. yet still displays plenty of its own invention, courtesy of Melissa Pipe’s assortment of horns and woodwinds, Joe Grass’s well-placed pedal steel, and intricate structure and arrangement. “Flowers in the Rush” is a hot and hazy finale to an album which, despite signaling the end of one band, is a stunningly accomplished beginning for another.