Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Residents "Mark of the Mole" 1981

Review by Ted Mills
After Eskimo, the band's attempt to sonically recreate Inuit tales through sound, the Residents began to undertake a similar project that would color the rest of their career. The Mark of the Mole trilogy would result in three albums and a world tour that would nearly bankrupt the band and Ralph Records, and cause (rumor has it) two of the original members to leave the band. It was also the beginning of the band's desire (often detrimental) to broaden their scope, to construct long concept albums, or imagine series of albums that would never be completed. Mark of the Mole imagines a race of mole workers who live underground and worship darkness and work (they're the heroes). When a flood forces them to flee their home, they migrate across the desert to the land of the Chubs, who subjugate them and cause war to break out. This is some of the grimmest, most discordant, rough hewn music the band has set down on record, with a grinding piece called "It Never Stops" summing up the tone of the record perfectly. Perversely, there is much to enjoy in this trip to the group's dark side, and the album's resolution truly feels like a breath of fresh air.
1 Voices of the Air Residents 2:55
2 The Ultimate Disaster Residents 8:54
3 Migration Residents 7:15
4 Another Land Residents 4:42
5 The New Machine Residents 7:16
6 Final Confrontation Residents 9:47


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