Spanning the time frame between their earliest period that was retrospectively documented on their Chronometers CD and their first official LP Manna/Mirage (and making for a great companion piece to the live Secret Signals tape of theirs that I shared last year, which documents the same period) this fantastic hour and a half performance catches one of America's greatest and most underrated prog units at a real peak of expressiveness. The Muffins were the first domestic contingent to seize upon the charmingly idiosyncratic syntax of that ever-so-British form of prog, Canterbury; their specific expression of it, at least initially, situated somewhere between Hatfield And The North's combination of airy, whirligig delicacy cut with latent fuzz bass thunder and a more avant garde-ish structural origami indebted to early Henry Cow circa Legend. The difference between their more angularly R.I.O.-damaged later era that would ensue with 185 and Open City and the material here is marked, The Muffins having latterly cast off much of the overt jazz rock qua jazz rock trappings that are manifest at every turn here. And charmingly manifest, at that.
Note: the link for this has now been re-upped, since the misunderstanding with Paul Sears of The Muffins that emerged on the comment board for this has now been happily sorted and this post now has their blessing:
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