It's uncanny how often a reissue can lead to a new album from a previously "missing in action" artist. A potential case in point is Mark Bandola, former frontman for the proto-dreampop band The Lucy Show. However, 'Birdnest' - released under Bandola's moniker of Tyewriter - is far removed from a blatant cash-in. It is not only his second album but it's also an ambitious two-sided opus which has more in common with prog rock than the shimmering melody of yore.
The breadth of styles covered hardly suggests an artist marking time on his career. Bandola offers atmospheric piano pieces ('Silhouette Branch'), psychedelic pop ('Hypnotized For Years'), touching ballads ('Coming To Pieces') and on 'Where's The Gain For The Woman', possibly the first ever record to feature television presenter Joan Bakewell and a guitar solo. Clearly, if prizes were handed out for eclecticism, Bandola would win hands down but he particularly excels at experimentalism on both parts of 'The Lost Elation' and perhaps it's no coincidence that when he plays the mainstream card - as on 'No Explaining', 'Remember Daniela' and Gone Foreverafter' - he seems to be acknowledging the music he made twenty years ago. So however flawed 'Birdsnest' may occasionally be, Bandola's insistence on continually evolving his sound make for an entertaining listen.