Monday, May 10, 2010

MIDAS FALL "Eleven. Return and Revert"

Edinburgh five-piece Midas Fall come to us on Monotreme Records, also the home to 65 Days of Static and Picastro (whose “Become Stranger” I liked so much back in March). Given such label mates it comes as no surprise to use the phrase ‘post-rock’ in conjunction with Midas Fall. And indeed debut album “Eleven. Return and Revert” does indeed feature songs, often quite lengthy, that can start gently and build in intensity using repeated phrases and passages. It’s all very earnest and intense (another 'check' for post-rock credentials) but with some gorgeous fluttering twin guitar interplay or mournful piano, often accompanied by emphatic and pounded drums. Although intense this is no teen-angst affair but is played with a maturity that belies their years (judging their ages from press shots or from live videos). And in Liz Heaton, Midas Fall have a singer (no instrumentals here) who actually emotes, rather than intones or mumbles.

There is much to admire in this highly accompolished record - but I find myself only enjoying it in small doses. Over 11 songs the uniform intensity can get wearying. And Liz Heaton’s imploring vocals are uncompromising, top-of-the-register stuff that occasionally gets too overwrought for my taste. So a quick hit like the sombre torch-balladry of '17' or the soaring epic album-opener 'Movie Screens' work best for me; as do the moments when the band tweak the game-plan like the heavy alt-rock of ‘My Radio Star’ complete with crunchy guitars or the quiet, sparse atmospherics of ‘War Pigeon’ for instance.

Midas Fall - 17 from monotreme records on Vimeo.

Midas Fall have had comparisons elsewhere to Bat For Lashes fronting Radiohead. This does work as a short-hand for their sound (with less mysticism and more angst) but also explains my reticence. Neither of those bands really touch me over the course of an album, only in occasional small measures. I think I need to spend some more time listening to the lyrics rather than the guitars/atmospherics of "Eleven. Return and Revert" to immerse myself properly in the Midas Fall world and see if the single song attraction spreads across the whole record.

And if you like what you hear, the band are embarking on a 14 date UK tour this month:

11 May Cabaret Voltaire Edinburgh
12 May Greenside Hotel Leslie
13 May Dirty Hearts Club @ Snafu Aberdeen
14 May Dukes Corner Dundee
15 May Nice n’ Sleazy Glasgow (supporting A Sunny Day In Glasgow)
16 May Sneaky Pete’s Edinburgh
18 May Ruby Lounge Manchester [BUY TICKETS]
19 May Mad Ferret Preston
20 May Canteen Barrow in Furness
22 May The Blue Room Blackpool
23 May The Actress Birmingham
24 May Spanky Van Dykes Nottingham
26 May Buffalo Bar London
28 May The Barleymow Leicester

Midas Fall
Eleven. Return and Revert [BUY]

No comments: