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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review: MV & EE - Barn Nova

MV & EE - Barn Nova
2009, Ecstatic Peace!

MV & EE is the sort of musical pairing that happens in particularly lucid dreams; the sort that might only occur in the "real world" in green Mountains of Vermont. Following not so much in the footsteps of but the spiritual imprints of bands such as The Grateful Dead, Sun Ra or even Phish, MV & EE hold forth with The Golden Road (Doc Dunn, Mike Smith, J. Mascis and Jeremy Earl) at their sides on the stunning Barn Nova. Barn Nova is the fourth major release from MV & EE after years of guerilla releases on small labels.

Barn Nova opens with Feelin’ Fire, a disconnected and poorly recorded/produced track where the pieces fit together in jarring fashion. The mix is all wrong here, and there’s a feeling like the various instruments are only playing together out of sheer luck or happenstance. Of course, this also appears to be by design, so some will find it artistically satisfying while others will find it a mess. Get Right Church is a Blues-based bit of psychedelia. While precision is once again not the focus of the tune, the sound is interesting. Snapperhead is disjointed and disconnected, using harmony and dissonance as random counterpoints to project the woeful incantation of a lost soul. Summer Magic sounds like Pink Floyd playing slightly out of tune; a melancholy soundscape full of depression and disaffection, much in contrast to its title. Wandering Nomad is intriguing; there's a really decent melody and song structure here with vague Americana leanings, but the production is so warped it's barely recognizable. MV & EE close out with Bedroom Eyes, Fully Tanked and You Feel, following much the same path; a capricious slide through genre boundaries, production values and temporal songwriting as if these distinctions were mere imaginings.

MV & EE actively defy categorization on Barn Nova. Some might call them avant-garde, but the purpose on Barn Nova doesn't seem to be a random collection of noise. MV & EE are much more calculating subversive throughout Barn Nova, taking everything you know or believe about Rock music and turning your perceptions distinctly on their ear. At the end of the day you may not like Barn Nova, but you're likely to feel at least a kernel of respect for the pure audacity of MV & EE.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about MV & EE at or You can purchase Barn Nova as either a CD or Download from

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