Mister Fusty, Connect EP

Published on July 30th, 2010 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By John Lane

In the interest of full disclosure, right off the bat, Mister Fusty (a.k.a. Rob Gibson) is a musical comrade-in-arms who collaborated on a track from my recent album. That out of the way, I was a fan of Mister Fusty long before I mustered up the nerve to ask him if he would work with me.

I discovered him somewhere between his first album Honest Blundering (November 2006) and the follow-up Sparkle Darkly (August 2007). These two instrumental-only albums knocked me off my feet and made me reconsider the whole idea of what it means to write a melody line.

mister fusty connect

Mister Fusty’s musical leanings are varied, but there’s definitely a link to The High Llamas and The Beatles, where the tune is the thing. Without words, he was able to concoct exquisite landscapes, both concrete and mood-interiors. His one-man renderings are lean and symphonic at the same time, which seems like a contradiction, but one can grasp the concept immediately when hearing his music.

Tirelessly, Mister Fusty has continued his prolific pop reign by releasing the Sprung EP (April 2008) and the paradigm-shifting album Over the Rocky Mountains (September 2009). It is within those two releases where we see Fusty reinventing himself, by most significantly employing his own voice at the fore. Listeners are lucky to hear the actual man behind all the instrumentation, as he has a voice that immediately acts as guide and friend across the range of those discs.

This brings us to his brand-new release, Connect, an EP comprised of five driven tunes, as speedy and quicksilver as the cover image. One thing to make note of as you dip into Fusty’s work: he is a master at inventing song titles. If he wasn’t a genius musician already, other musicians could pay him to conceive of song titles and he could comfortably live off those fees. “Peacock Teardrop” opens the proceedings, and (intentionally or not) there is the cool-as-a-summer-breeze feel of Difford & Tilbrook carrying the tune aloft, all shimmering harmonies and swaths of crystalline acoustic guitar chords. Breathless? That’s a natural reaction.

“Cosmos Dust” follows this, slightly more electronic and ethereal. This is why people love Mister Fusty—his uncanny ability to create something organic even with electronic touches. He stands alone in being convincing. “Your Stupid Plan” is a wisp of the Fusty of yore, with a vibes-laden bedrock that would not be out of place on earlier records; it’s a joyous revisitation. Next, we take the “Uptown Connection,” an instrumental tune that bears the Fusty trademark of being thoughtful pop. The EP concludes with “Settle,” a sort of deranged club tune that is (humorously enough) sort of unsettling, with vocals awash in a murky bath, loops spun backwards, forwards, and sideways.

Every Mister Fusty release has gone to my personal top-ten-of-the-year, and this one is no exception. Immerse yourself in his work, and you will be justly rewarded.

All proceeds from the Connect EP will go to Cancer Research UK and the Worldwide Society for the Protection of Animals.

To purchase Connect, please visit Mister Fusty’s page on Bandcamp.com.

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