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Thomas Mudrick - Abiqua TDRCO-069

1. Over The Hills
2. Strange
3. Particles of Gold
4. Two Strings
5. Take it Cheesy
6. Shania
7. Earth Nipple Ripple
8. Keep On Keepin On
9. Bipolar Bear
10. Winds of Change
11. Ballad of Richie

Just in time to cap up your 2014 all in style-like, Silverton, Oregon’s own Thomas Mudrick is back once again with Abiqua, his fourth record since 2013, and another fantastic full-length release out now on Portland’s Ten Dollar Recording Company. Forget any of that claptrap about tradeoffs between quality and quantity - Abiqua is yet another example demonstrating that when you got it, you just got it, and so you might as well pull it out and trot it around a bit. And there’s a good bit to trot around, for sure, with Mudrick’s flirtation with different styles, moods, and tones, strong overall song craft, and zany tongue in cheek lyrics interspersed with more introspective moments that strike a zen balance of goofiness and world-weary wisdom. To suggest that Mudrick refuses to be boxed in to any rote and well-trod genres or categories should be pretty well established at this point for anyone paying attention, but new listener be warned: the musical temperature can change pretty quick ‘round these here parts, so keep yer listening ears on and enjoy the ride.

Mudrick’s penchant for tonal doppelgangery is once again all over Abiqua, an approach that is a lynchpin of his musical warp and woof and one of the most endearing qualities of his songwriting. However, unlike earlier efforts, such as the space-psych throw-back of 2013’s Mongoose Thompson and the Kalapuya Spirit or the chain-smoke kansas flashdance ass-pants party jams of (((boing))), Abiqua arguably has a shade more cohesiveness coursing through it than previous outings, or perhaps a more streamlined final product, along with a more mature and aged sound from Mudrick. Maybe this new level of subtlety is due to Mudrick’s recent induction into the fatherhood club, or rather his near-constant musical output honing in on the philosopher’s stone groove and riding it through to the point break, or maybe both. Still, luckily for us out here in listener-land, the familiar tropes of pirouetting randomly from acid-washed country to hip-hop laced rave-ups to swelling folk strummers are all here as well, so fear not. (REED BURNAM, Nov 10, 2014)

Release Date: October 16, 2014