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Mike Greenwood of Taplas

reviews Toadstone by Random

Wild Goose WGS328CD (56m) RANDOMS 2002 debut, Deviation, came over as rather a rushed and unco?ordinated effort (It did, for me, suffer the misfortune of arriving alongside the wonderful Twm Twp debut). So Im happy to report that several leaps and the odd bound separate that first Random outing from this far more considered and satisfying opus. For a start, the trombonist and electric bass player have reached some sort of agreement as to not getting in each others way and the two melodeons have also developed a very empathic existence. The one will sometimes provide a tonal backing for the other, before both collaborate to spit fireworks between them.
You also get the impression that this six?piece electric ceilidh band has spent quality time getting comfortable with the latest material and they display a justified confidence in working in and around a well?chosen variety of melodies. Following in the wake of Peeping Tom and newer electric dance bands, Random holds no refuge for a fiddle, but the melodeons accidental notes are put to good use in the pursuit of every modal possibility. This musical direction is liberally exercised on Waiting for a Partner, and is even manifest on the already modally ambiguous Horses Branle