Mojave 3 Press Archive
Press archive


The first in our series of 'Where are they now, so we can still tease them mercilessly and chase them down the street with sticks after all these years?' shoegazing revival reviews (see also Swervedriver) finds Neil Halstead and Rachel Gosling, once of Slowdive, involved in a quite shockingly fine record. The chief reason for this is that they've written songs rather than a series of 'soundscapes' with vague sentiments about drowning in the sky. 'Who Do You Love' is the kind of honest, heartfelt, laid-bare love song men are too scared or too cool to write these days, romantic without being sentimental, unafraid to be plain-spoken and emotional.

It's like sonic cathedrals never happened - an acoustic guitar surrounded by lazy organ and a distant trumpet. And then, almost as good is 'This Road I'm Travelling' which is truly sublime, all country-inflected harmonies and hazy sunset acoustics like Nick Drake on holiday in New Mexico. OK, then, we forgive you. Just this once.
Johnny Cigarettes

MOJAVE 3 - Some Kinda Angel (4AD)

Kinda, hey, y'know, kinda, well, kinda... dull, is probably the word we're after, fine for brown corduroy fetishists who chew tobacco, but a step too far in the direction of earnest country rock for anyone else. This is the humourless big brother to Delakota's buoyant, bubble-gum card collecting fascination with the USofA, a song that aims for a romantically dusty Three Dog Night vibe and ends up merely dusty, more car-boot sale than road movie. It's got all there should be - brass and Hammond organ and references to moonshine - but unless you secretly dream of being friends with the characters in The Big Chill, you'll find yourself slowly slipping into sleep.
Victoria Segal

MOJAVE 3 - Out Of Tune (4 AD)

OLD SHOEGAZERS NEVER DIE, THEY JUST GET progressively more down-at-heel. And so the scuffed-out career of Mojave 3 (ex-Slowdive, but don't hold that against them forever) is getting more interesting by the day.

Because this, their second album, is quietly cool. Nine tastefully clipped tunes, less than 40 minutes altogether. A bit of strumming, some bleary, countrified licks and a facility for framing the saddest of times.

Plainly, Mojave 3 know their Dylan and their Nick Drake - 'All Your Tears' and 'To Whom Should I Write' reek heavily of the latter - and, accordingly, 'Out Of Tune' is one thin-lipped, introverted and desperately blue album.

The lap steels may swoon and the harmonies may be high and lonesome - evoking a 4am Nashville skyline - but their author Neil Halstead remains a morose English boy through and through. Highlight 'Caught Beneath Your Heel' catches him in a romantic bind, trying to restore some personal dignity as organs wheeze plenty and the hard questions stay unanswered.

And when Rachel Goswell lends her voice to proceedings, the woozy, lovesick mood is only heightened. On 'Baby's Coming Home', she and Halstead bend and bewail like the indie answer to George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

The recent single 'Some Kinda Angel' - an enthused homage to Dylan's 'Visions Of Johanna' - provides a momentary escape from the doleful business at hand, but in the main, 'Out Of Tune' is a beautifully downcast affair. With 3, of course, as the tragic number. 7/10

Stuart Bailie

Mojave 3 - Out of tune (4AD/MNW) Country/Rock This is really not possible.

Gloomy brits, with a background in goth-constellations as Slowdive, shall not be doing soft, warm, sincere country- and folkrock that makes the world think about a desillusioned Nick Drake, travelling through that part of America where Gram Parsonīs hickory wind still blows through the fields.

But Neil Halstead and the others in Mojave 3 has done it anyway. Confusing. But nonetheless less convincing.

On this album, there are songs that makes me reconsider my list of the best albums of the year.

Per Bjurman

New Musical Express (UK) 15 July 1998 p36
MOJAVE 3 live review
LONDON King's Cross Water Rats

For Mojave 3's Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, sonic experimentation is nothing new. Their first incarnation as Slowdive saw them dabbling with hazy atmospherics before venturing, less successfully, into ambient electronica. Now, with new single 'Who Do You Love', they turn up a more traditional card with floaty multi-layered harmonies and somnolent strummings.

Although vaguely reminiscent of the footware-ogling days of yore, the emphasis has shifted from feedback to emotionally-charged, pastoral semi-acoustics.

To contribute a melancholic country-tinged twang to the proceedings, they've even recuited steel pedal guitarist BJ Cole, who ambles in halfway through the lovely 'Baby's Coming Home'. As it ends, Halstead spots Bernard Butler in the front row and smiles. Welcome to Mojave 3. Not so much shoe-gazing as star- gazing.
April Long

NME 24 October 1998
Mojave 3
London Highbury Garage

It's a dry, long and dusty road from Reading via Slowdive, to this
roadhouse in north London. Along the way, some eminent hitchhikers have shared
bourbon with Neil Halstead and Rachel Gosling in the back of their
Cadillac: Nick Drake, the Eagles, Gram Parsons, maybe even a stray hobo Bee Gee
or two.

Tonight Mojave 3 can't help but enchant with their dubious eclecticism.
It's only mid-evening yet it's already that golden hour after intoxication
but before the guilt and regret that inevitably follow. With a bad liver
and a broken heart Neil regales us with 'Yer Feet' and 'All your Tears',
tales of troubled love which fall from a desert's indigo sky. These are
entirely convincing and elegant songs, thousands of intersections ahead of
the more studious and practiced pastiche of some of their contemporaries.
With the air miles provided by his record collection, Halstead ruefully
travels across a musical geography resplendent in the colour and tone
gleaned from his heroes.

Pedal-steel guitar hero and recent Verve recruit BJ Cole thumbs a ride
halfway through tonight's set, blending in comfortably, without the aplomb
and bombast of Ashcroft and co. A slow-down rather than a showdown, then.
Meet the grown-up Gomez.
Neil Thomson