(All Album Reviews by maribor)
Ferris Mudd comprises of three young men who had been playing in various bands and had been admirers of each other's ability before the idea arose of trying to play together. They realised they had a lot of common interests in terms of music and so they decided to give it a go. They formed the band Ferris Mudd and started writing music for their debut CD and at the end of 2006, they were finally ready to show what they were made of.
By their own admission, they have a variety of influences from various musical styles: Elvis Costello, Rush, Steely Dan, Kansas, Alan Parson's Project, Paul Simon, Jeff Back, Porcupine Tree and Spock's Beard, to name a few. This shows the variety of styles that I was expecting them to incorporate into their music but it was in fact quite different.
For the most part I was reminded of Porcupine Tree, most particularly the last three albums. There are some other influences as well, but none as strong. The music is dominated by the interplay of electric and acoustic guitar, with occasional keyboard segments to liven up the songs. There are also some interesting percussion parts that somewhat break the monotony. Like in Porcupine Tree, the vocals are also multi-layered on several occasions (especially the chorus lines), but unfortunately the leading vocals (and lyrics) are quite weak, which is a real shame since the band is focused so much on that aspect of their music. The bass player and drummer are both adequate but not remarkable, except when they play additional percussive instruments or keyboards.
For most of the time, the guys from Ferris Mudd create some very catchy melodies with nice hooks, but the songs don't seem to be developed enough for my liking. The songs basically all have the same structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, (bridge), (solo), verse, chorus. I just wish they'd be a bit more adventurous and add some interesting twists. The songs are usually dark or melancholic in regards to lyrical themes and the same could be said for the music. A bit more variety here wouldn't hurt either.
Even though they do show influences from various artists I have already mentioned, Ferris Mudd remind me mostly of Porcupine Tree's In Absentia. There are the same melodic vocal lines and lots of backing vocals arranged in an interesting way. The only big difference is that Ferris Mudd are more mellow. There aren't any of those ferocious, almost metal moments that Steven Wilson and his gang have been providing us with over the last three albums. Ferris Mudd have their shortcomings but all in all they're a decent enough band and they have good prospects for the future, If they can build on the solid foundation they set up with their debut, I'm sure they can do something more exciting and original in the future.