Mahogany The Dream Of A Modern Day

Back when Factory Records was at their height, they had all kinds of awkward bands that were almost impossible to classify - not exactly rock and with a more classical bent than anyone was really comfortable with. Yet they paved the way for the likes of Mahogany, another of those bands a step out of time. The Dream Of A Modern Day was initially released last year, but is hopefully going to reach the wider audience it deserves this time round, thanks to the distribution of Darla Records. If you really wanted to simplify things, you could say that Mahogany's music is situated midway between shoe-gazing and electronica, but that would be doing them a real injustice. That's because they manage to blend their influences together to make a wonderful swirling mix of keyboards and cellos - it's all very beautiful and mesmerising. Allysa Massais's vocals have some of that little girl quality that is so irritating in the Cranes, but fortunately the overall sound probably has more in common with early Lush, the Cocteau Twins or even Stereolab. Sometimes the music doesn't even try to walk the line between classical and contemporary, revelling in strings and obliqueness, but for the most part, it does find the perfect compromise. The one problem is that the entire album tries to be greater than the sum of its parts - the ambitious nature of The Dream Of A Modern Day is both a blessing and a curse, because the shorter interludes and instrumentals tend to lessen the overall effect. Still, that's a small complaint and, hopefully, Mahogany's second chance will prove to be kinder than their first. (Darla)