Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Middle East - The Recordings Of The Middle East

Release Date: 04/24/08
Genre: Lush Folk Rock

Why did you break up?! You guys had so much potential. That's the worst thing you can find out when you love a band on the first listen. From what I've gathered, they are from Australia and they broke up 1 week after this album was release. They barely have 7,000 plays on

Review: I always have the mindset of 'no expectations' for albums receiving coming from nowhere. The album cover gave me this dark foreign vibe and the band's name gave no indication that this would be so enduring. "The Darkest Side" opens up the album with precise notes on the guitar that sets the backbone of the entire song. Male vocals. Female vocals. The song captured me and it was hard to predict where it'll go. Lovely stuff.

"Beleriand" has more of a breathy style in vocals. Hearing the eerie notes in the background, changing pitch, but never letting go with the male's attempt to sing falsetto creates this really dark cloud on the listener. Static near the end. I can't search for lyrics, but it sounds like he repeats "in clouds..."

"Lonely" is another quieter passage. The whole pace of the album just turned into this space-like atmosphere. He almost sounds like he is whispering because he doesn't want to wake us up. The drums remind us to not be so down. It stops a bit in the middle and the whole gloomy soundscape still carries on, but I feel it adds more of the folk and indie rock aspect. For 7 minutes, this is cool.

And just when it seems like this band is a quiet band, "Blood" attacks the "too many instruments" like many popular indie bands like to it. I'm not good with names, but it sounds like a glockenspiel or just a series of bells. All this with a steady melody on the acoustic guitar and finally it gets badass with the horn instruments. It's so magical. I love the added background voices of "wooo" that accompany the music.

oh my god at the harmony on "Fools Gold."

I always feel like I become bias after a certain point on the album. The 2nd half is always harder for me to digest and "Pig Food" is pretty flat on its own, but within the whole context of the album, it feels normal and I accept that. The last two minutes of it is very post-rock.

"The Fall of Man" starts with vocal effects and more simple tunes and then some radio static. The piano on here is depressing. The wordless vocals combine with some faint screaming feels like death. Then it stops. Hello sad piano. Say goodbye. wow.

For their last song, I stopped focusing on what I like and truly trust them and accepted what they wanted to do. "Tsietsi" is a lot of things, but patterns aren't. Of course it helps to have a structure, but I always love it when a band can sound unorganized and keep it focus.

Summary: Really well done music.

Key Tracks: The Darkest Side, Blood, Fools Gold
Rating: 7/10

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