30 January 2013 Stuff We Like

Mayo Thompson - Corky's Debt to His Father

Mayo Thompson - Corky's Debt to His Father

Despite all it conjures, rock music is often so formal, isn’t it? Structures, melodies, rhythms...they’re ultimately very much shared practice. Nowadays, it isn’t hard to find bands and musicians breaking away from the geometry of it all; but back in its infancy, experimentation in rock music usually signaled new tones, sounds, or styles recontextualizing a standard format. Mayo Thompson was striving for something more. His band, The Red Krayola, disbanded after only two albums and seemingly no fanfare—at least that he was aware of. Though their second LP, God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail With It, was an intriguing curiosity of pop vignettes, it’s Thompson’s solo album that came two years later, Corky’s Debt to His Father, that fully fleshes out his ideas into “real songs.” He was on a similar plane as Captain Beefheart, which is to say pretty out there. Guitar lines interweave without the feeling of locking together, timing seems to shift over measures, and his lyrics confound with private metaphors. This is psych-folk for the adventurous spirit—the type of music that feels so easy to revere now, but was too bizarre to be fully appreciated in its time. An album this good shouldn’t have to wait its turn.

– Scott Aaronson

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