A fish-tank full of eclectic eels
By Carey Weinberg
Strange foliage is growing from London's murky waters, as the Forest City's Acid Mud Flower will release its first full-length CD Aquarium tomorrow at The Embassy.
As is the case with most bands, learning from experience brought this album a greater sense of maturity taking the form of strong songs built through an arduous writing process.
"Everybody in the band has a musical direction they'd most like to convey, but when it comes down to it, for whatever reason, we may struggle over songs for months. But in the end, we come up with a song that we agree wouldn't have been as good had we not struggled with it and argued the points night after night when building the song," says drummer/keyboardist Breck Campbell.
AMF's present line-up is as a trio, which changes the sound dramatically from its former inception. "It's been easy to create as a trio it opened things up to a wider variety of material. The old band was nothing but a wall of guitars," Campbell states.
The present sound runs the gamut of the musical spectrum through light jazz, pop, metal-edged rock and blues. This eclecticism defines the band's current floral persona.
Independence is the band's main lyrical thrust throughout the forthcoming CD. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Blanchette describes how the lyrics represent the band's experience, "it's about having no money, being broke and doing everything on our own." These words sound like the mantra of our generation. "Being independent and being strong strong enough to visualize our goals. Basically, if no one's going to do it for you do it for yourself.
"It comes down to choosing your own path, buckling down and doing something, not simply complaining about it." This theme is mirrored in the smattered hybrid music. The roots of this musical flower stretch all over, as it is the culmination of six years of work. Access to more people has its price in that, when the members shopped the CD around, they found record companies looking for a more consistent sound.
Inevitably, the next project will have the kind of consistency record companies look for, since it will take less than six years for AMF to put a CD together. The band's maturity is most tangible in the confidence the members exude.
"Everyone in the band has a better understanding of what a song is now, yet all three of us still have our separate ideas," Breck says. "The important thing is that we each have a better understanding of where we're coming from, so when someone suggests something out of the ordinary, or towards the ordinary, we've become more accepting of it."
This mutual understanding is a facet of AMF, which brings tightness in both writing and performing. Breck explores the paradoxical nature inherent in the band. "We're all eclectic in our own ways as far as the kind of music we listen to and draw from and we are constantly getting even more so. Our growing eclecticism brings out a result in a song on our album which is more together over all."
Strangely, bands who relegate themselves to a single genre of music in their relatively limited scope, can become masters in their field. "Maybe that's what makes a hard core icon within a genre what makes a rock god, or a blues god," says Breck.
But the days of being a one-genre band are certainly becoming numbered. People's tastes follow the way of mass communication in the Internet, or web browsing everywhere is an information highway where one has to be multi-lingual to survive.
Now the trend is to adopt more genres. Acid Mud Flower's garden path is musically multi-lingual, which should allow them fruitful growth on the highway. To give an indicator of where the band is now, AMF already has enough material to cut a second CD. You can be certain the new CD and material for the next one will be on the agenda at the opening leg of the tour tomorrow.
You can get more information on Acid Mud Flower on the Internet at