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Grab-bag of unreleased material hits the sweet spot
Ed Power, 22 Jun 2012
This odds and sods collection consists of tracks recorded by Mum’s formative line-up between 1998 and 2000.
Even early on, the Icelandic drone popsters sounded like the finished article. Ten minutes long ‘Enginn Vildi’ suggests Sigur Rós played at half-speed on a malfunctioning tape deck, sad pixie vocals locked in equally sad footstep with the glitchy background burblings; for their part, ‘Gingurt’ and ‘Glerbro’t’ mingle proto jazz and post-rock quiet-loud-quiet dynamics. And so it goes, with generally impressive effect.
It’s been nearly three years since the Reykjavík outfit’s last proper long-player and while Early Birds by its very nature was never going to break fresh earth, it doesn’t feel like a stop -gap. Rather it suggests that, even when mucking about, Mum were never capable of being glib or throwaway.