Mr. Quimby's Beard - The Definitive Unsolved Mysteries of... 1999 England

By 1999 the festival space rock sound, most famously pushed forward by Ozric Tentacles, Omnia Opera and Mandragora, was starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Many would argue that rot had set in as far back as 1995. Perhaps it was the era these albums came out in, or just the onslaught of too much good music all at once, but all of these type of albums have aged remarkably well for me. I can't seem to get enough of psychedelic guitar, swooshing and sequenced synthesizers, heavy bass and crashing drums. If you're like me, then Mr. Quimby's Beard is another band to add to your collection. They had two albums prior to this, that I recall being a bit inferior. But as the premise lays out, I have to wonder if time will be kind to those as well.

I had been confused about this release for some time. And it's only recently I realized I had the CD-R version. A reader had clarified the release with me by writing in to Under the Radar: "This album was actually recorded in 1997, but left unfinished by the band. After 2 years of gathering dust Stone Premonitions (the record label they were with at that time) decided to release it. At first as a cassette, followed shortly by a cdr. Both were titled "The Unsolved Mysteries of" and although both had a different track list, each contained unfinished versions of a few of the songs that appeared on the final band release, plus a handful of tunes that band decided not to use on the "Definitive" version. "The Definitive Unsolved Mysteries of...." was completed in 1999 and released by the band, initially as a cdr (July 1999) to help raise funds for the later CD version, which was finally released January 2000."

UMR good friend Spacefreak also added: "Mr. QUIMBY'S BEARD (another band with remote roots to the anarcho-punk scene) as a band started in early 1983. Recording-wise, they were somewhat latecomers to the scene as their recording output started in 1994, with a cassette only release of their first album. Their 2nd was issued by Dave Anderson's Demi-Monde label on CD only format and from then onwards the band only released CDRs (mostly on the Stone Premonitions label home of the great CENSUS OF HALLUCINATIONS). "The Definitive Unsolved Mysteries of..." was indeed release in 2000 and it is nothing more than a remix of their 1999 "The unsolved mysteries of Mr. Quimby's Beard". So that explains the 1999 reference on the reworked version.

I have also the opinion that the rot in that particular scene started in 1994 with the Criminal Justice Bill that penalized open air raves and free festies all over Britain. According to that Act, police could direct people to leave a rave, stop people on their way to one, and seize vehicles and sound equipment. The current provisions applied to gatherings of 20 or more, where amplified music is played at night which "by reason of its loudness and duration and the time at which it is played is likely to cause serious distress to the inhabitants of the locality". Both outdoors or, where people are trespassing, indoors."

A lot of great info here that was buried in the Under the Radar post. As such, I'm going to give this title fresh exposure, and bump it to the current date. My notes above come from a listen not long before the original UTR posting in October 4, 2011.

Personal collection
CD-R: 1999 Stone Premonitions

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