If you're anything like me, there are certain
phases on certain records that are so blissful you wish they'd
continue forever. Okay not literally forever, but you'd certainly
appreciate the moment being sustained. Prolonging such moments
is arguably what Your Ten Mofo are all about. The Austrian
post-rock quartet take their 'arctic circle' influences and
simply inhabit them for 67 minutes. Things Change While
Helium Listen to Everyone is like luxuriating in an aural bath.
Something we try to do with our writing here, something we
strive for, is to go beyond lazy journalism. If there is a
sniff of bandwagon or herd mentality we like to at least say
something else if not something more than the pack. Yet I have
to say, all principals aside, it would be churlish, if not
obtuse of me to avoid a couple of topics which will dog Your
Ten Mofo at every turn. Firstly, their name! I mean….why?
(I'll tell you shortly!) Secondly, and there's really no getting
away from it, there's the issue of whether they sound like
If I were to draw a line back through musical history, Your
Ten Mofo's would stretch all the way back to Eno, with stops
en route at, variously, OMD, Cocteau
Twins, Slowdive, Spiritualized,
and, inevitably, Sigur Ros. Whether one artist sounds like another
is rarely a black or white issue. Sometimes the shade of grey
in question speaks volumes. For amusement, try popping onto the
Interpol forum and declaring their musical kinship with Joy
Believe me, whatever positive or negative responses you do receive
will be muted by an avalanche of "not again" groans. What is
it they say about smoke without fire?
So do Your Ten Mofo sound like Sigur
Ros? They certainly throw us the occasional reminder – a
cherubic yelp, a submarine radar ping and a similar sense of
dramatic ebb and flow, all little traits that seem routed in
Iceland rather than Austria. This doesn't make them clones. Overall Things
Change... is percussively lighter, resulting in a dreamier,
cerebral ambience that is closer perhaps to God
Is An Astronaut. At times the album also brings
to mind, variously, each of the other artists mentioned above,
especially on its longer tracks, which are rooted in epic shoegaze.
The name then. They wanted something random and non-sequitur. It was only after settling on Your Ten Mofo that the boys were made aware of the slang connotation for Mofo, but decided to keep it anyway. Now you know! I still think You Sexy Mofo would've been better. Perhaps that's why I'm a writer and not a manager. Maybe they'll come to be known by the acronym YTM? Whatever! As a moniker, it's no worse than Kitchens Of Distinction.
If you're not offended by such lofty comparisons I strongly recommend this album. When you think of it, Your Ten Mofo have done at least one thing Sigur
Ros failed to do. They've released a notable debut.
Precautions against altitude sickness* are, nevertheless, advised.
(*Altitude sickness (from Wikipedia) usually occurs following a rapid ascent and can usually be prevented by ascending slowly. In most of these cases, the symptoms are only temporary and usually abate with time as altitude acclimatization occurs. However, in more extreme cases symptoms can be fatal.)