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Things Change While Helium Listen to Everyone

  Your Ten Mofo  

Wohnzimmer Records

Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Brett Spaceman  

If you're anything like me, there are certain phases on certain records that are so blissful you wish they'd continue forever. Okay not literally forever, but you'd certainly appreciate the moment being sustained. Prolonging such moments is arguably what Your Ten Mofo are all about. The Austrian post-rock quartet take their 'arctic circle' influences and simply inhabit them for 67 minutes. Things Change While Helium Listen to Everyone is like luxuriating in an aural bath. It's gorgeous.

Something we try to do with our writing here, something we strive for, is to go beyond lazy journalism. If there is a sniff of bandwagon or herd mentality we like to at least say something else if not something more than the pack. Yet I have to say, all principals aside, it would be churlish, if not obtuse of me to avoid a couple of topics which will dog Your Ten Mofo at every turn. Firstly, their name! I mean….why? (I'll tell you shortly!) Secondly, and there's really no getting away from it, there's the issue of whether they sound like Sigur Ros.

If I were to draw a line back through musical history, Your Ten Mofo's would stretch all the way back to Eno, with stops en route at, variously, OMD, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, Spiritualized, and, inevitably, Sigur Ros. Whether one artist sounds like another is rarely a black or white issue. Sometimes the shade of grey in question speaks volumes. For amusement, try popping onto the Interpol forum and declaring their musical kinship with Joy Division! Believe me, whatever positive or negative responses you do receive will be muted by an avalanche of "not again" groans. What is it they say about smoke without fire?

So do Your Ten Mofo sound like Sigur Ros? They certainly throw us the occasional reminder – a cherubic yelp, a submarine radar ping and a similar sense of dramatic ebb and flow, all little traits that seem routed in Iceland rather than Austria. This doesn't make them clones. Overall Things Change... is percussively lighter, resulting in a dreamier, cerebral ambience that is closer perhaps to God Is An Astronaut. At times the album also brings to mind, variously, each of the other artists mentioned above, especially on its longer tracks, which are rooted in epic shoegaze.

The name then. They wanted something random and non-sequitur. It was only after settling on Your Ten Mofo that the boys were made aware of the slang connotation for Mofo, but decided to keep it anyway. Now you know! I still think You Sexy Mofo would've been better. Perhaps that's why I'm a writer and not a manager. Maybe they'll come to be known by the acronym YTM? Whatever! As a moniker, it's no worse than Kitchens Of Distinction.

If you're not offended by such lofty comparisons I strongly recommend this album. When you think of it, Your Ten Mofo have done at least one thing Sigur Ros failed to do. They've released a notable debut.

Precautions against altitude sickness* are, nevertheless, advised.

(*Altitude sickness (from Wikipedia) usually occurs following a rapid ascent and can usually be prevented by ascending slowly. In most of these cases, the symptoms are only temporary and usually abate with time as altitude acclimatization occurs. However, in more extreme cases symptoms can be fatal.)

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