Music Reviews

Dennis Driscoll

Mysterium Mysterium

Yo Yo

Seems Olympia, WA is the same today as it was back in the mid-‘80s. No one records in a proper studio, and people are all still very full of love, although in the Olympian quirky, slightly bemused manner. Everyone loves The Beat Happening, and K Records is still the real deal.

Dennis Driscoll isn’t one to mess with established formulas, and Mysterium Mysterium does all it can to please everyone raised on cutie, homemade cassette folk-pop. At times coming across like an even more peaced-out Cat Stevens back in the day, his songs are all about stuff like “true true my love is true / and you can always count on me / to stay by your side”. Or how about “when I’m feeling lonely / I want you only / only you / no one else would ever do”.

Twenty-one songs of this, and you’re probably ready for some brutal, Satanic grindcore, just to ease things up a bit. Still, Driscoll treads the right side of parody and naivety, adding some impressive melodic charm and dynamics to win you over. The performances are bare and thin, his voice almost ridiculously sincere, but there’s still a sense of lo-fi complexity making sure that this is far more than some K Records parody album.

For anyone even remotely familiar with the bare-naked folk music coming from this particular corner of the world for the last couple of decades, there really isn’t much new on here. But Driscoll’s lovely delivery and finely crafted simplicity ensure it’s all worth hearing once more.

Yo Yo Records:

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