Jeff Mangum’s songs are cryptic and crazed, his ideas fast and furious, and together they force the home-recording concept out of the basement and into a brave new world, a fuzzy masterpiece of experimental lo-fi recording.
Full of rapid-fire wordplay with true and heartfelt experimentation, both ambitious and eclectic, it’s not hard to see why their 1996’s debut ‘On Avery Island’ (Fire Records, UK Release) has been such an influential album. Part of the fabled Elephant 6 Collective, Neutral Milk Hotel won over many a music critic with this cult classic. The band are recognized as one of the most influential alternative acts to come out of the mid-90s and sowed the seeds for everything from anti-folk to the likes of Arcade Fire, Caribou and even Franz Ferdinand.
On its original release, this album ranked #35 in the annual Village Voice Jazz & Pop Critics’ Poll. Also, Spin proclaimed this album one of the ten best “you didn’t hear” of 1996. Delux repackaging in new mini gatefold sleeve with twenty four page poster booklet, this reissue includes the ‘Everything Is’; single and b-side ‘Snow Song’; from the original 1994 7″ release (also re-issued as a limited 500 copies only release).
“10/10 – A gem” VICE
“Still Sounds Great” UNCUT
“Neutral Milk Hotel were on if the best and most distinctive indie bands of the Nineties” Rolling Stone
“On Avery Island, is an inscrutable concept album, a chronicle of an insular world told in a remarkably universal language. A fuzzy masterpiece of experimental lo-fi recording, the album wraps its ragged pop songs in ribbons of loops, marching-band squawks, and Casio noodling” All Music