Snow Fox hails from the same village as like-minded Aussies Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood, Terracid, etc. It should be no surprise, then, that he is part of this sprawling MusicYourMindWillLoveYou collective. Steve Moller's flagship project is the most song-oriented of anything MYMWLY has released thusfar, but don't be fooled: this is still a psychedelic jamboree through the underbrush of the outback. "Plays the Lost Resort" is like the best shipment of damaged goods you'll ever receive.
When you put this excellent album on, the barren landscapes of central Australia will come to life. I imagine Moller as a travelling minstrel with sand in his teeth, braving the desert winds and overbearing heat. With nothing more than a guitar, he travels the countryside looking for anyone he can assault with these sonic soundscapes.
On the laid back "Race is Rain," Moller weaves a stinging web of words. As he extracts the words, "I've seen it all before in my dreams," from the earth and lays them out over a bed of mellow percussion and hyperspace lead guitar waves, he is unrelenting. This is music that will infect every inch of your washed-out headspace. Along with its mystifying psychedelic tendencies, it's also catchy. The combination is powerful and not heard often enough, but Snow Fox has lit his torch and begun his endless trek.
The opening song, "The Lost Resort," perfectly sets the mood with blacked-out windows and specks of light strategically placed throughout the room. Percussion fights off the urge to drown out the spaced-out guitars while Moller sings, with stunning sincerity, "Darling, help me find my shoes." The simplicity of these songs is completely obscured by all the layers Moller skillfully adds to this record. It's impressive work to say the least.
Michael Donnelly (leader of the MYMWLY clan) co-wrote two of these songs and performs on the album. The two tracks he helped out most with are the ritualistic "Faces on the Sun" and '70s inspired psych lovefest, "Emotion is a Raygun." On the former track, primal beats and sunkissed recorders and flutes battle it out, looking to be the prize of Moller's eye. Donnelly offers background vocals while spazzed-out guitar riffs fade in and out of the mix. This seven minute track keeps its melodic edge while endlessly searching under the red clay and dirt for its firmly plant folk roots. There's so much happening here that it's an amazing accomplishment how well Moller and Donnelly keep everything flowing and cohesive. The latter track, however, is a different beast entirely. Vocal effects and rich, warm guitars could fool anyone into believing this was recorded in the 1972. Moller and Donelly work remarkably well together, and the sound of this album has Donnelly's fingerprints all over it.
The Lost Resort is a place filled with ghosts and ancestors that know you best. These songs will push all your buttons and play on all your fears. But in the end, they will leave you with a magical listening experience. All throughout the journey, Moller is your guide. When things start to seem too dark and bleak, he smashes windows with his voice and lets the light rain in. Snow Fox shows how the desert can be your best friend one minute, offering up protection and inspirtion, and can slit your throat the next. Moller's psychedelic excursion teeters on between both extremes. Snow Fox is further proof of how great the MYMWLY collective is. 8/10 -- Brad Rose (25 May, 2005)