Presenting the first comprehensive collection of the entire recorded output of Australian underground legends The Moles. Led by future orchestral pop genius Richard Davies, the band quickly grew from their garage and psych roots to travel to London and then New York City and forge a unique path. Often cited as the band that pushed The Flaming Lips into the giants we know today, it was a star meant to burn brightly, and then no more. Includes their only two full albums Untune The Sky and Instinct in their original tracklistings, and everything in-between.
The Moles formed in Sydney in the late 80s by Glenn Fredericks, Richard Davies, Warren Armstrong and Carl Zadro, friends from law school who were fans of Flying Nun, The Fall, Go-Betweens and Laughing Clowns/Ed Kuepper. They dabbled with punk experimentality and regular reinvention, drawing their name from a reference to Wind in the Willows and spy novels (John Le CarrÃ©/Graham Greene).
Untune the Sky was originally recorded as a mini-album in a dingy studio in Sydney, although once they had found a label, Seaside (an offshoot of Waterfront, one of Sydney’s legendary indie labels) they returned to the studio to extend it in to a full length.
They soon felt that their future in Sydney was limited and set sail for London via New York. In NYC they recorded an EP at a seedy studio in the Meat Packing District with prostitutes standing out front, run by legendary producer/engineer Jim Waters, who had worked with Lou Reed, Thurston Moore and Nancy Sinatra. Being Beatles fans, they knew of “What’s The News Mary Jane” as a lost Beatles track but hadn’t heard it, so they recorded what they thought it might sound like.
Taking themselves out of their regular surroundings in Sydney accelerated and amplified the mood for recording but they were disorientated by the chaos of New York. Their subsequent London adventure lasted a year, during which they played some great gigs and had some great adventures, including recording a Peel Session Â¬(which went well until their manager stole all of the band’s fee and blew it all on a personal drug/sex/dance odyssey weekend – to which the band were not invited.)
The Moles original line-up split in 1994 after homesickness took hold and the band imploded. Davies had found love and moved to the States but was not quite finished with the directions he had explored with The Moles. Full of songs from the London stay, the others blessed his intentions to capture them properly. Assembling a fantastic room full of players including Hamish Kilgour of The Clean, the resulting album Instinct managed to bridge his punk roots with the complex and influential arrangements he would soon perfect.
“The Moles are like every band you’ve ever seen, every band you’ve ever missed and every band you’ve ever loved, all at the same time.” NME 3 October 1992
UNTUNE THE SKY
“Their ability to startle is displayed throughout.” Rolling Stone
“The only comparisons that present themselves are that of Spiritualized and Mercury Rev and the brilliant New Zealand label Flying Nun – like the whole fucking roster.” Melody Maker August 15 1992
“Instinct is as close to perfection as any Beatles or Beach Boys record and it stands on its own as a classic in my book.” Archer Prewitt (The Sea and Cake)
“Richard Davies predicted where bands like the Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, and Super Furry Animals would end up shortly thereafter.” Allmusic