3 December 2014

Mt Warning - Midnight Set

The first track reminds me of three fish, the singing style of Anywhen. The build-up is interesting, gradual, gentle, and the feedback type sounds were almost too much for my laptop speakers. And the vocals are similar, the gradual build, use of floating atmospheric build-up and repetition. And then….are there female vocals or does the male vocalist have a higher octave range then the average bloke? Let’s check ‘wikiknowitall’ as I don’t have the physical copy of the album-just the Spotify access….Yep-its Mikey Bee-and his vocal range is just that good.

He appears to be the lone member contributing vocals and guitar, along with Taylor Steele filmmaker and producer. I wonder how they do live then-maybe session uber-cool type musicians, or the old sampling via midi keyboard trick favoured by the musically diverse and anal.

Its cinematic, it’s kind of textural-a build-up of sounds, and it could be amazing...it could. But somehow it isn’t, not for me anyway. And I’m sort of disappointed, because I was looking for a new joy ear wise, and it’s just not there. I prefer deeper vocals, so the higher range of Mr Bee just isn’t for me.

That said, here is another cd I wouldn’t mind having on in the background whilst typing away, it’s not interfering with my thought process, it’s not demanding much of me so far. Although this track on now…I’ll just check…. ‘Forward Miles’ has just grabbed my attention, its sort of minimal tubular bells meets tribal. The vocal is lower and seems to have more of a direction, more of a general track structure, verse floaty chorus verse-and it works-although the ‘ooooooohhhhs’ in the background sound a bit rough-like it’s been an afterthought and is ever so slightly off key with the rest of the track, sitting above it, not in with it. Odd. I like it. :-)

Anchor and Sinking Sun carry on the theme of tribal sounding beats and samples.  It’s nice, its different-reminiscent of a beach somehow, somewhere warm anyway-and that’s good at the moment in the rather chilly North of England. I can see why they’ve been compared to ‘Sigur Ross’ actually. The singings not quite as high, but the alternative rock type electronica type atmospheric stuff going on is a cut above your average effort soundscape wise. Its clearly very thoroughly worked out and arranged.

I am going to see if I can get some reliable lyrics from the net-I like to check to see if the lyrics match the music or if they are providing simple imagery, evoking a feeling, or merely something to carry the vocal sounds out of the singer and into the mic. Hmm, no one seems to have entered them into any sites yet. Well, from what I can make out the lyrics are not ridiculously bland or banal, they’re not earth shattering or mould breaking either, but they definitely sit to the left side of middle.

Like a Tattoo gets a bit of electric guitar riffage in there-bit heavier-yet still managing to be wide seeming if that makes sense and light-you don’t get the feeling it’s a headbanger in waiting its more of a shoegazer looks up and projects another emotion, a bit more lively, variation.

Promises is a pared down acoustic number, only a mild echo on the vocals and some nice harmonies. You can even hear the squeak of fingers sliding from cord to cord. The wider sound has come to give you a close up. It’s probably a love song of some sort, a love lost type. Not terrible lyrics, not amazing. ‘I remember when you said that we would be together every day, then you ran away.’ Bit simplistic there but the ending does sound haunting I’ll give them that-it does strike a chord-the emptiness it projects, it’s a good representation of loved and lost.  

‘Midnight Set’ continues with the pared down acoustic and vocal but has added some tribal sounding effects, I don’t know what the instrument sounds are, possibly pipes and a mandolin? It works, it’s very pleasant.

There are three bonus tracks, the first, a demo track of ‘burn again’ is sweet and beautifully played.  I prefer it to the one with samples, but I can also see how the sample and effects add another dimension.

‘King of the South’ is a nice twinkly sounding number, and I’m pretty sure there’s a woman singing backing vocals on this but I can’t find her name. She has a nice voice. It’s a bit...its different to the overall feeling of the album so I can see why it’s a bonus track. It’s quite cheerful actually. Bit vacuous but nice. It reminds me of Polyphonic Spree.

‘Anchor’ is the live bonus track-and it’s interesting to see how he sounds live. It’s pretty good, it’s relaxing, not exactly going to set the crowd jumping but then it’s not that sort of band. I would happily sit drinking a macchiato or chai latte and/or low fat hipster drink of choice and watch him through my hipster glasses.

6.5 out of 10 - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

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