I feel like the word ‘intense’ comes up time and time again when people are talking about music. Most of the time it seems like the word is being overused in all situations, but then there are those times when it’s completely necessary. This is one of those times.
For the past 24 hours I have been listening to Mi Ami’s latest full length effort from Thrill Jockey, and let me tell you people, this one is quite overwhelming, but not necessarily in a bad way. The face-melting trio that is Mi Ami take you on a hell of a journey into their musical world, and once you get sucked in, it might be too late to come back out.
The album kicks off without much time to breath at all – literally right off the bat lead singer Daniel Martin-McCormick is shoving his words down our throat in “Harmonics (Genius of Love)”. This right here might already prove to be too intense, but keep on listening and things tend to become a little less over-bearing. Throughout the song they quiet things down so you can figure out what the hell is going on, but never for too long. By the time you’re in the last minute of the song, the shit just hits the fan entirely. An incredibly noisy, sandpapery, cacophonous guitar drowns out just about everything but the guitar itself, all while Martin-McCormick continues to berate us with his completely unintelligible vocals.
Moving on to the next track “Latin Lover”. This song has a much more welcoming beginning, and perhaps could be the most accessible song on “Steal Your Face” for any listener. The dancey drum beats certainly help make that a possibility, but that decision is really up to you! A bit past the two minute mark of the song and you’ll find yourself in the midst of a metallic, scratchy guitar solo, all while the drums keep guiding you along. By the time you reach the end of the song, you’re forced right into another demonic, shape-shifting electronic mess. I’m not entirely sure what it is that’s making those sounds, but once again the intensity is coming at you full-throttle.
The following track “Dreamers” takes a step back from where the previous two tracks were. They slow everything down significantly, and this is where Mi Ami give you the time to think and put a few thoughts together. This is one of the two longest tracks on the album, so they’re definitely trying to give you some time to catch your breath here. The slow, lazy sounding tom-tom rolls and the echoing bass line can actually be heard in this song, as they’re not being drowned out by ruthless yelping and jarring guitar work. The tribal rhythms continue on this way for the greater portion of this song until the final 2 minutes come into the play. At this point the song slowly gains ferociousness until it’s built up into another huge face-searing guitar solo, which the end result of is an enormous wall of sound that takes us to the end of the song. When the next track “Secrets” starts up, you’ll find yourself back in familiar Mi Ami territory. Martin-McCormick’s squealing vocals and drummer Damon Palermo’s relentless and completely nontraditional drumming styles come back into play, all over top of some screeching sound effects.
This is where I must call it a day. Once again, school work is calling my name, but not for much longer! The end of the year is within sight! Be sure to listen to the songs below if you’re looking to have your face stolen today. OMG band joke!
Latin Lover –
My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Noise Rock, Experimental, Psychedelic
Steal Your Face: Tracklist
1.) Harmonics (Genius of Love)
2.) Latin Lover
5.) Native Americans (Born in the U.S.A.)