Thursday, April 12, 2007

Reviews:: Midnight Movies Lion the Girl

I really wish there was enough time to review every record that I enjoy. We really try to give readers a full review, and often soaking in a record takes a long time. Unfortunately, that often means that people have grabbed the disc, listened and moved on before we even get a chance to talk about it. One of those records is the sophomore effort from Midnight Movies. I kept meaning to get to it, and even after a few half hearted listens, it was always something I knew I wanted to give more time too.

In as complimentary way as you can take this, Midnight Movies front woman Gena Olivier is like the evil female villain from every Bond flick. You know she’s bad, despite her attractive appearance. You get the feeling she is going to completely turn on everyone, but you are ok with it, because of the sultry vibe she emits. That whole femme fatal, smoked vocals she uses matches perfectly with dark, ominous sounds the band relies on. She stepped out from behind the kit for this record, and the band is much stronger as a result. The record – Lion the Girl – is an 11-song mood piece, heavy in psychedelic textures and sounds.

The record, despite the fact is mood driven, is remarkably focused. The band doesn’t fall into that trap of trying to create rich textures and soundscapes by experimenting with sounds and wandering aimlessly around the melody. Instead they are quite comfortable quickly establishing two distinct paces – floaty dream pop (Ribbons) and pulsing, 80’s tinged pysch riffs (Lion Song) – largely dictated by the strong guitar work of Larry Schemel and drum beats of Sandra Vu.

The four-piece really pushes the limits of sound, getting you to the brink of too much, before gently pulling the reigns and slowing the pace. On Coral Den, the pace builds and builds backed by a frantic keyboard and swirling guitars, but the abrupt bridge lets everyone take a break, if only for a minute, before the drums kick back in. Instead of always needing frantic changes, the band creates a dreamy cinematic score songs that float effortlessly through your headphones – like the all too short (or is that Too Short?) Dawn or the haunting sounds of Bell Tower.

Despite all the influences you could throw around here, I think the LA-based outfit is trying hard to forge their own place in rock n’ roll. They are finally settled with a new lineup and writing some great songs. It’s one of those rare cases (for me) that the fuzz-ed out guitars and dark tones actually deserves the buzz-ed out reviews.

They are on tour with Blonde Redhead, and playing the Commodore on April 20th.

MP3:: Bell Tower
Video:: Patient Eye

Posted at 1:04 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 3:41 PM, Blogger indie mom did sayeth:

We like Midnight Movies too - nice review!!


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