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Paws on Ears – Hot Spoon, Cold Mango

Paws on Ears - Hot Spoon, Cold Mango

If the old mythographers are right, then stories of heroes and villains are essentially the same. And, if that is true, it should mean that the same kind of stories told in pop music under its many guises must stay the same. Hot Spoon, Cold Mango avoids imitation on the new album “Paws on Ears” but drinks from the same wellspring as musical heroes of old. 

The road toward their destination, however, is much more rockier, a kind of psych-rock thesis on the benefits of guitar music on the human brain. Sure, there are other ways to encourage artistic exploration without frying your brains, although few in the rock world have attempted it. 

How should you be listening to “Paws on Ears? Sitting on your back with your eyes closed might do best. But as with any imaginative, new-age music, there’s no way to receive the message. The opening track, “A Beckoning Plea Of a Call for Bears”, lets us in with warm, sparse piano chords, later flanked electro grooves, and orchestra-lite fills. 

It all works a bit like a walk through the woods, albeit one in which there’s plenty weighing on the artist’s mind. “Amongst The Roots of Trees” includes cascading piano arpeggios, and “A Cow Stands Guard Protecting Their Llamas” moves like fog over an endless plain. 

And just like the fog, there’s an evanescent quality to the music here. Songs rise and float but, unlike most post-rock jams, never go so high up that they need to be shot back down. 

Without lyrics to pester the listener and, potentially, take them out of the dream state that the album tries to induce, there’s also room to be creative with song titles such as “Flower Picking Pink Elepppppphants” or “I Am Not Afraid Of You Penguins Anymore.” It’s the sort of song title that Andre 3000 would’ve taken pride in and considered if commissioned to write a nature documentary. 

While the songs are, for the most part, kept to a digestible length of a few minutes, this is not an easy listen. Yes, if the mood strikes you just right, you may experience some sort of transcendence. But just like a challenging hike through Icelandic scenery, admiring the wonderful views is one thing, but getting from Point A to Point B requires endurance. 

The journey requires effort, but there are rewards at the end of it. You may find yourself feeling relaxed and refreshed, having heard music that tells the stories of old in a new brand new way. 

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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