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The Middle East

June 26, 2009

middle east
You must have heard these guys playing on your radio by now? They have just completed a  national tour and are set to play Splendour in July. If only they would release a new proper album then they could be a household name already. I saw them at Northcote Social Club the other week and while they started off slow, eventually the crowd was caught up in an impressive whirlwind of noise that this huge band created. Can’t believe they are from Townsville, I hear that place sucks.

They demonstrated some fantastic new material at their show, some of it more direct and focused than their usual sprawling post-folk (I just want to use this term) epics, which was a nice change of pace. Elements of country, folk, rock and post-rock are woven into their sound so naturally that it’s a joy to watch them play. “Blood”, is of course one of their stand out tracks, with twinkling guitars and haunting harmonies. What starts out as quiet and lovely ends up growing into a swirling delirious wall of glockenspiels, keys, whistling, drums and horns. All this is accomplished so effortlessly and with such great hooks, that you hardly notice it runs over five minutes.

“The Darkest Side” takes a similar approach but is, appropriately, darker and more… ghostly? Also they name drop “Sim City” for some reason. The finger picked guitar is the base for boy and girl to take turns singing haunting melodies while the whole band eventually joins in on the misery every so often, but it is mostly quietly restrained. It doesn’t quite match the dizzying height of “Blood”, but it takes the idea of pushing folk past it’s usual runtime into a new realm. Maybe they’ve been listening to too much Sufjan. This is can only be good thing.

“Blood” mp3
“The Darkest Side” mp3
Official Myspace

One Comment leave one →
  1. Michael permalink
    June 29, 2009 12:09 am

    I KNEW I could hear ‘SimCity’ in there somewhere. Such a terrific band, hopefully they’ll read this post and get cracking on an LP!

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