Just a gorgeous, inimitable, eternal album, that deserves to live forever.
The Gardening Club is probably a lot like the records your parents played to death: Yes, King Crimson and the like. The latest release from Space Wreck Records (a label helmed by Koyama Press’ Ed Kanerva) features canoodling guitars, light-footed drums, far out storytelling and prog rock hyperbole in droves. But since musician-illustrator Martin Springett recorded the album in 1983, at the height of electronic and new-wave hype, The Gardening Club procures itself an affective identity that’s much more paradigmatic. Springett calls it the “cosmic giggle”. And this becomes even more apparent when listening in 2016. The record sounds like the ‘70s; channels the aesthetic and narrative attributes of Middle Ages poetry and art; was released during the heyday of futurist pop, and is now being reimagined more than 30 years later. Naturally, given Kanerva’s day job, the release is accompanied by a gorgeous full-color comic book by Springiest, featuring acid-drenched visuals pulled from the pages of Alice in Wonderland and a coterie of decidedly proper parachute-skirted British ladies. The Gardening Club is currently sandwiched between Chance the Rapper and Mercyful Fate on my Itunes’ recently played folder. All boundaries of past, present and future are fleeting and this record will show you why.
Jeff Low, Broken Pencil
A special treat: Martin Springett’s Gardening Club and the first year anniversary of this blog, October 13th, 2014…
Comment on the review:
Wow – Special treat indeed! Real killer artwork & a masterpiece of music – this is a Monster!! Enchanting, moody and beautiful…love the instrumentals, they strike a chord in my soul…
Hearty Thanks my friend 🙂
And can’t believe it’s already been a year,
Thank you so much for all the rare and wonderful music,
forgotten treasures uncover new horizons…
Here’s to many more bro!!!
“The Gardening Club bursts with passion and sorrow, quirk and groove, and proves that sometimes you can go home again. From the swirling suggestion of “Moon Mischief” to the ever-so-slightly off-kilter vibe of “Upside Down Blackbird”, this album is a moody, musical bit of time travel. Past and present meet here, in Springett’s voice and guitar, and in words about long-lost friends and the kind of yearning that never changes. Onward, to the future!”
Caitlin Sweet, author of The Pattern Scars, The Door in the Mountain and The Flame in the Maze among others
How I unearthed a long-lost Toronto prog rock album
Martin Springett’s The Gardening Club is cosmic Canadiana at its best, and his story is a CanCon prog rock version of the Searching For Sugar Man saga