Hatchling by Mythopoeic MindRelease date: August 20, 2021
Label: Apollon Records
Professor and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from Harvard University once said, “Music is always a universal language.” It has been around for many centuries whether we feel sad, happy, excited, and joyful surrounding the sounds of music. It’s always been with us for many years to come.
But when it comes to Steinar Børve, founding member of the RIO/Canterbury band Panzerpappa, and his project Mythopoeic Mind, which centers on the symphonic structure of the Progressive Rock genre, he’s always one step ahead of everybody else. It’s been two years since they released a new album after their 2019 debut, Mythopoetry.
For Steinar, he’s a very busy, busy man. But with the release of Hatchling, it was time for him to crack some eggs wide open, and scrambled them for breakfast and head back into the mysterious forest once more to see what the band and mixing master Jacob Holm-Lupo has in store for us with the follow-up release this year.
‘Fear Fiesta’ starts out with a fanfare sax introduction before going into a Funk-Rock celebration. Anders laying down some heavy guitar riffs as Trond’s pounding percussion work gets the bars up and running between The Temptations’ ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Get Ready’, Frank Zappa’s ‘Fifty-Fifty’, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors-era.
Speaking of Fleetwood Mac, Veronika sings this song in the style of ‘You Make Loving Fun’. She channels Christine McVie’s soulful vocal work as if she’s having listeners hitting the dance floor with a disco beat! ‘Winter of ‘73’ has these Morse Code keyboards letting fellow travelers know that a dangerous ice storm is approaching.
As the spacey synthesizers are setting up the danger of a weather that’s coming below minus 50 degrees, Veronika’s vocalization sets the temperature levels to a maximum. Time-changing riffs between guitars, keyboards, blaring saxes, and thunderous bass lines from Bruland, Anders brings the cold front to a standstill channeling Camel’s Andy Latimer and Terje Rypdal as the midsection sees Garth Brooks’ ‘The Thunder Rolls’ transforming itself into the styles of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
‘Fog Vision’ is dedicated to the late great Lindsay Cooper, member of Henry Cow, and founder of the Feminist Improvising Group. Steinar’s sax fills up the nightly sky with heavy drum machine beats. Echoing back at you, it sends shivers down your spine for a relaxing hot cup of coffee while Gjellum tackles the Kalimba that either Bill Bruford or Jamie Muir had used for the opening introduction on King Crimson’s ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic: Part 1’.
Steinar and Ola’s arrangements, take you into these unknown locations throughout the North Pole with chaotic effects. Followed by Veronika’s poetic structures, Ola plays the last two minutes on his fretless bass channeling Weather Report’s Jaco Pistorius as he gives listeners a chance to breathe some fresh air outside when it’s warm and toasty.
‘Cottage of Lost Play’ sees Mythopoeic Mind delving into a bossa-nova groove with a Soft Machine twist from the Third album. Ola channeling his Hugh Hopper vibes and the Steampunk atmospheres is like something straight out of Tarkovsky’s Stalker, it is a train ride of minimal flowers, ready to bloom before Veronika goes from McVie to Julie Driscoll for this mellowing operatic story brought to life.
The title-track sees Anders going for a calming classical approach. It brings to mind of Anthony Phillips’ debut The Geese and the Ghost. You have these fantasy structures that are brought to life from page to screen with a mid-adventure ride home. You can tell Steinar was listening to Gryphon during the Red Queen to Gryphon Three-era for some inspiration on where he wants the members of the group, playing the last three minutes of chess for a medieval climax.
Closing track ‘Supreme Vision’ is Steinar’s sax seeing the first glimpse of sunlight pouring throughout the city. Its gives us a strength of hope, knowing that there’s still a chance before the dark clouds move in quickly for another storm approaching the cliffhanger finale.
Hatchling is quite a departure from their debut album. It showed that while they have a bit of a symphonic route, they also wanted to add some of the real good pop orientations. Not the shitty-ass ones from Cardi B and the puking shit of Maroon 5, but real pop sounds from Christine McVie, Kate Bush, and ABBA to name a few. But it’s quite good to see Mythopoeic Mind getting out of their comfort zone and not just being a “Prog” band, 24/7.