Gorky's Zygotic Mynci | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci 

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Because both bands are Welsh, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci are frequently mentioned in the same breath as the more popular Super Furry Animals; in fact they're a much older band, formed in the mid-80s by school chums in Carmarthen, Wales, and their cool 60s pastoralism is worlds apart from the Animals' anarchic techno-pop. Their first three albums--Patio (1994), Bwyd Time (1995), and Barafundle (1997)--were written in Welsh, and the English lyrics on last fall's superb How I Long to Feel That Summer in My Heart (Mantra) might as well have been, so woven are the vocals into the tapestry of textures drawn from English folk rock and the late-60s Kinks. When the writing slips to the level of Richard James's "Easy Love" ("I will love you forever / We will always be together / I will never stop loving you"), obscuring the words is an improvement. But consider the craft of "Can Megan," an infectious swing number by violinist Megan Childs: Acoustic guitar and gentle electric piano back octaved male and female vocals ("Sitting here, brittle eyed / It's only a step from where they say / These feelings can run out of time"). A gentlemanly brass figure marches through the chorus, backed by burbling Wurlitzer. Rhodri Puw drips pedal steel guitar over the last verse, with James moving up into a harmony: "The dials of the moon could steer my way / To love of the future prize / I am treasure, and I am trove." As the song crests the horns are underscored with low notes on a harpsichord. As in all the band's best work, the melodies hold up and the shadings are endless--Moog, Omnichord, vibes, harmonium, banjo, violins, cello, Hammond organ, glockenspiel, harp, trumpet, nylon guitar, mandolin, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, squeeze box, zither, and the ever-popular backward tambourine. Even if you couldn't understand a word, every sentiment would be clear as a summer's day. Thursday, March 7, 10 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace; 773-478-4408.

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