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CD Reviews

The Mudhens/Crickets (self-released MH 02 98)

The Mudhens are a Boston-area band that resides comfortably in the pop/rock segment of the music market. They played on the second stage of 1997ís HORDE Festival stop in Hartford, CT (see separate review in my concert reviews section). The band saw my review of that show, in which I gave them a sort of passive write up, and contacted me about giving their CD a listen.

Iím glad they did because I am genuinely impressed with the effort. I guess I felt that they were somewhat out of place with their short set at the HORDE Festival but on "Crickets" the bandís songs seem to take on a whole new identity. The disc also tends to grow on you a little more with each listen. Songs such as "Hide Me", "Worst Year", "Laredo", and "Guys Night Out" quickly rose to the top as my favorites here. The rest of the album is very good and has resided comfortably in my 20-disc changer since it arrived.

Itís hard to describe the bandís sound. Iíd have to equate them to being a cross of 10,000 Maniacs, 80ís favorites Lone Justice, and maybe a twist of REM thrown in for good measure. Theyíre strongly pop-orientated but do maintain a slight rock edge throughout.

The Mudhens are Pete Chandler (bass), Tom Groleau (drums, percussion, vocals), Carla Ryder (vocals), Mike Smith (guitars, keyboards), and Dave Ford (euphonium, accordion, trumpet, and keyboards). Theyíve proven to me that first impressions can be wrong because at this point I would highly recommend both them, and "Crickets." A link to the bandís webpage is included to the left of this review.