Austin’s Cotton Mather reside in that category of extremely talented/highly underrated bands, a slot that has included groups like Jellyfish, Big Star and Teenage Fanclub to name just a very few. That has, thankfully not stopped The Star Apple Kingdom label for re-releasing Kontiki, their best album, in an impressive two disc set.
Originally put out in 1997, when the general public was inexplicable shelling out cash for The Spice Girls album (yes, this was when people used to buy music), Kontiki was left to college radio stations and indie record store owners to swoon over. And what was not to like, perfectly crafted power pop and jangly guitars that brought to mind the best elements of Squeeze and yes Big Star and Jellyfish. Songs like “Password” and the album opener “Camp Hill Operator” still sound remarkable fresh and timeless a decade and a half later.
The second disc includes acoustic and alternative takes on their songs and the package also comes with a great write up on the history of the band and the making of this fantastic, tragically overlooked album. Here’s hoping this effort provides enough momentum for the band to get back together.
Top Tracks: “Password” and “Camp Hill Operator”
Cotton Mather – Kontiki [Deluxe Edition]/2 CDs/26 tracks/The Star Apple Kingdom/2012