Mushroom Giant
Painted Mantra

Label: Bird's Robe Records
Three similar bands: Sleepmakeswaves/Meniscus/Distant Dream

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. The Drake Equation
2. Four Hundred and Falling
3. Scars of the Interior
4. Aesong
5. Event Loop
6. Primaudial Soup
7. Triptych
8. Lunar Entanglement
9. Majestic Blackness

Craig Fryers - bass, bowed bass
Trent Horwood - drums, percussion
Simon Wade - guitar, hammond organ, rhodes piano
David Charlton - guitar

Rails (2003)
Kuru (2008)
Antarctic Angel (EP 2010)
Painted Mantra (2015)

Chrysalis (EP 2018)

Cello on tracks 1 and 2 by Rachel Samuel
Violin on track 2 by Aaron Barnden
Additional guitars on track 5 by David Gogerly

Written and produced by Mushroom Giant
Engineered by Adam Calaitzis at Toyland Studios
Mastered by Joseph Carra at Crystal Mastering
Tree Man photo by Melanie Hutcheson
Thanks to Dana Roskvist (from the band Sydonia) for donating his body
Rainforest photo by John Piesse
Petrified wood photo by David Charlton
Cover art and graphic design by Craig Fryers

Released 2021-07-05
Reviewed 2021-11-28

bird's robe records

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Mushrooms of the larger variety from Australia, is that what it is? The cover on the Painted Mantra is pretty cool anyway, I read that it is a reissue of the third album, one of those reissues by the Bird’s Robe Records label. I also note that the order of songs is different, I think I prefer the one I got compared with the previous. But the question is, does this artistic and cool artwork indicate a great album – I do always like it when there is effort put into the art as well.

And the art kind of indicates what we are getting, black and white landscapes in the musical sense, the atmosphere of an old photograph. Something like that. The instrumental and progressive rock music feels well thought out and is produced very well, the depth and variation add to the sensation of an album that is well put together. But it isn’t as great as the artwork, the music isn’t as progressive and thought provoking as that cover.

But it is good enough and thought provoking enough to work, I like it. I think that anyone into the instrumental and progressive rock music should have a close look at this one, it has much to offer. And even if it were to go wrong there is a nice-looking cover to have in the collection. Still, for me it doesn’t make a big and lasting impression, the album mostly just passes by for me – l like what I hear but it doesn’t really grab my full attention and make me just want to listen.

So, it has many good qualities, but there are reservations. I think that is the best way to summarise what I think about the Australian band’s Painted Mantra, it is fine but it never really takes off. And it isn’t as great as it looks.