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MOCK TURTLES (Buy CDs by this artist)
Turtle Soup (UK Imaginary) 1990 (Relativity) 1991
87-90 (UK Imaginary) 1991

Having appeared on nearly every Imaginary tribute LP, offering their interpretations of songs by Beefheart, Barrett, Hendrix, the Byrds, Kinks and others, Manchester's otherwise little-known Mock Turtles defy all reasonable expectations on their debut album by performing original material in a semi-consistent style. Not that the quintet isn't entirely derivative of numerous '60s/'70s art-pop icons, but it's reassuring to see them expend a little creative effort for a change. When not indulging in obvious affectations, Turtle Soup is an above-average retro album: polite guitar/keyboards arrangements of nicely melodic tunes sung with attractive softness, all bathed in a light psychedelic glow. The second LP is a compilation of the Mock Turtles' EPs and tributes.

[Ira Robbins]