The Mountain Is A Dandy – Reviews

RELEASED 6 June 1988


NP - Coming Next, May 1988

Quinn the Eskimo’s music, like their name is reminiscent of Sixties. Their most distinctive features are their sun-drenched harmonies and cascading jangly guitar, laid on a solid Indie style rhythm section.

In the same way that Orange Juice took their favourite pop sounds from previous decades and modified them, so Quinn the Eskimo possess a certain naïve originality built upon familiar foundations.

Obviously Quinn don’t have the financial or productional backing that Orange Juice had, but for a first album, The Mountain Is A Dandy is a creditable debut.

Samantha Rain, which opens side one, could easily be mistaken for American folk rock circa 1966. It utilises the afore-mentioned harmonies and guitar to produce an infectuous pop song of the type sadly lacking in today’s beat box dominated singles chart.

The album, although not without flaws, displays a talent in its formative stages. Quinn The Eskimo have a fine pop sensibility and the future should see them attract the major label interest they deserve.

Paint It Red, May 1988

The long awaited debut LP from Newcastle’s own Quinn the Eskimo is much more than many of us had even dreamed of, and must surely lead them on to national and international recognition.

Ten original songs, in their own distinctive style, that you should already be familiar with, which will win over everybody after only one spin on your old record player. This is one of the most complete LP’s I’ve heard in some time and their mixture of folk and psycedia tinged rock is instantly accessible, well crafted and impressively delivered. A clear, confident production gives even more credence to their strong and fluent rythms, spiralling guitars and beautiful harmonies. The addition of keyboards/Organ on a couple of tracks (especially “Once upon a Day”) really clinches the deal and adds to the general optimistic feel of the album. Don’t think of them as “another local band”, this LP proves they are a unique talent, the fact that they are from Newcastle is only an added bonus, in that your chance of seeing them play songs live is made so much easier. I am impressed – you will be.

Len Brown - New Musical Express, 13 August 1988

Newcastle’s Quinn The Eskimo sound irresistibly like a cross between The Smiths and R.E.M. with just enough individuality to avoid being branded copyists. Their jangling unification of English folk with American guitar rock is enhanced by fine harmonies reminiscent of early Hurrah! And songs such as ‘Samantha Rain’, ‘The Haymaker’ and ‘Once Upon A Day’ make this an impressive debut. At times it’s too one-paced and vocalist Cook does a dodgy Jim-Morrison-sings-Simon-&-Garfunkel impression, but generally this shows the Quinn have potential to be, er, mighty.

Summerhouse prove it’s not all unemployment, bugger-all-money, child sex abuse and cholesterol in the North-east. Well, not at weekends.

Les Inrockuptibles, December 1988

Quant à Quinn The Eskimo (mon préféré du lot), leur nom à lui seul suffira à cerner le créneau. Pourtant, si les sixties sont évidemment ici présentes, c’est moins dans l’optique Swingin’ London que dans la sphere des Byrds qu’elles imposent leur influence. Et le fait que le groupe soit originaire de Newcastle devient alors un épiphénomène qui vole en éclat sous le coup des guitars acoustiques rayonnantes et le “naturel” (comme on dit d’un produit) de cette musique pop. Le terme “fraîcheur” est devenu trop convenu pour qu’on l’utilise encore une fois ici, alors plutôt que de se lancer à la chasse aux synonymes, autant se laisser bercer par dix vignettes multicolores; autant d’aquarelles propres à derider les plus ronchons.

Josef Conrad - Pop Noise, No 1, 1989

Morgens, kurz nach dem Aufstehen, wenn ich Hartgesottenes nicht ertragen kann, dann ist “The Mountain …” genau die ansprechende Dosis. Die Viermannband debütiert mit einem stark akkustikgitarren-lastigen Album, das insgesamt sehr stimmungsvoll melancholisch gehalten ist. Auch wenn vereinzelt Up-Tempo-Songs angegangen werden, wirkt das Album sehr berühigend. Auffälligster Song, der ansonsten recht kompakten LP ist “The Wreck”, auf dem Gitarrist Richard Scott eine Mandoline einsetzt.

Da englische Zartheiten momentan wenig Konjunktur haben, werden Quinn The Eskimo ihr vermeindliches Ziel (das möchte ich aufgrund des Namens unterstellen), als the “Mighty” Quinn in die Popgeschichte einzugehen, wohl kaum erreichen.