FAME Review: Mahogany Frog - Senna
Mahogany Frog - Senna


Mahogany Frog

Moonjune Records - MJR048

Available from Moonjune Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
Mark S. Tucker

Remember that famous Memorex ad with the guy in the chair, where everything's being blown gale force backwards? Well, now picture an entire concert hall like that, and you have an idea of what Mahogany Frog must be like in concert. Houndstooth - Pt. 2 is so intense that I'd advise promoters to take out extra insurance in case blocks of concrete start tearing loose from walls and ceiling. When I critiqued these maniacs for the DO5 release (here), they were more into an art damage phase, but Senna has at least partially reconciled the rage and fury of that mode into classic krautrock tossed into a cyclotron, often not unlike Jane meeting Finch meeting Automatic Fine Tuning after listening to King Crimson and Tool on methedrine.

Eclecticism, however, defines the quartet, and Flossing with Buddha comes off like the bastard child of SFF with Cyrille Verdeaux, Roger Powell, and Seventh Wave sieved through a warped 666 period Aphrodite's Child…minus the vocals of course (MF is completely instrumental—oops!, wait a minute, I lied: beluga whales sing in Aqua Love), the sort of cosmic church service you'd expect from a priest on micropane acid. Message from Uncle Stan: Grey Shirt still eschews the plutonianly ragged edges of damage music for an updated Cluster/Dzyan interlude of noiseuring, but in its latter phase begins to grin back towards DO5 as though remixed and sessioneered by Manual Gottsching.

Stan goes Green House in a killer Mike Ratledge passage segue resolving into measured Soft Machine/VDGG fusion strangeness ramping up resplendent skyblown serotonin Canterbury that finally chokes itself into submission for an abrupt seizure. Too fucking cool. The final cut, Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service will tear your head off, a rough heavy exhilarating tour de force of leviathan proportions drenched in synths and distortion. This, my friends, is where prog should've gone at the end of the 70s but didn't, cut short by those punker bastards' capture of the market. Now, you have the chance to get full ear-melting closure, and if you're a hardcore die-hard progdawg, Senna's essential.

Track List:

  • Houndstooth Part 1
  • Houndstooth Part 2
  • Expo '67
  • Flossing With Buddha
  • Message From Uncle Stan: Grey Shirt
  • Message from Uncle Stan: Green House
  • Saffron Myst
  • Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service
All songs written by Mahogany Frog except
the excerpt from Sarabande in A Minor (J.P. Rameau) in Aqua Love.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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