For all intents and purposes, Harmony Rockets
was really the New York-based avant-pop unit Mercury Rev
in disguise; containing the same core players -- primarily singer/guitarist Jonathan Donahue
and lead guitarist Grasshopper
-- the side project allowed the group to pursue their most arcane musical ideas to their fullest. The first Harmony Rockets
release, 1995's Paralyzed Mind of the Archangel Void
, was a single 42-minute ambient noise piece, a portrait of the group at their most defiantly experimental; the follow-up, 1997's Golden Ticket
EP, moved in the opposite direction to offer a disco cover of a song from the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.