Mars Audiac Quintet is Stereolab’s third studio album, less of a rocker than 1993’s Transient Random-Noise Bursts…, edging even closer to dreamy lounge pop. Lætitia Sadier’s bilingual vocals are charming and melodic as ever, the sound of the “Groop” softening overall with the loss of a guitarist (Sean O’Hagan) and the addition of a new keyboard player (Katharine Gifford). “Ping Pong” is polished sophisti-pop with subversive lyrics, “Des Etoiles Electroniques” is organ-driven tranquility. “Firey Yellow” is on the kitschier side, a xylophone romp under a haze of bird calls. “Nihilist Assault Group” is the most indicative of their krautrock roots, strict motorik drums and hypnotic bass. This record was remastered from the original tapes by Bo Konden at Calyx Mastering. This album is pressed on triple black vinyl and includes a bonus disc of demos, outtakes, and alternative mixes. The discs are packaged in a sturdy custom sleeve inside of a clear pvc wallet. Includes a 24x24 poster of the album artwork with liner notes on the rear.
reviewed by Chick Chick Chick 05/2019