Rocket Recordings (Goat, Gnod) present the debut LP from psych super-group MIEN. Featuring the most least-talented member of The Horrors (Tom Furse) as well as men from Elephant Stone, The Black Angels and The Earlies, MIEN was always going to be a fuzzy affair. The stoner-Kraut stomp of lead single ‘Black Habit’ bodes well for the rest of the thing.
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If you’re an old fan and know what happened to the Horrors, please write in and let me know. Who they are. For I have never listened to them. Sorry, but fourteen year-old me was still playing Starsailor albums on repeat. Regardless, a Horror has crept his way into psych robot outfit Mien -- specifically, it’s Tom Fuse, who is here joined by the Black Angels’ Alex Maas, Rishi Dihr of Elephant Stone and John-Mark Lapham, who is in The Earlies. Lots of psych boys! Gotta put them to use somehow, haven’t you?
It took all four of them, but they made it fuzz. From underneath scatterings of guitar murk and keyboard beam they create this most Rocket of things: a tight but weird swathe of spook, filtering pop music through a mind-numbing lens. Thankfully for us and our ears, they made this record with a near-proggy foresight, refusing to just let tracks float through one ether forever. It’s why I very much enjoy “(I’m Tired Of) Western Shouting”, which sees the band abandon the textural boundaries they’re crossed and step into a lovely, acoustic stripdown of their song. It’s a moment that reminds you how much pathos a good psych rock band can deliver; “You Dreamt” lets weird vocal samples and computer bits (the best way of describing them) pass through its steamed drum loop, giving us more than just one flavour of disorientation to break our brains to.
It’s good: I like for a record to wake up from itself, and even in its most cliche of sound palettes -- such as the unbearably familiar bass ‘n’ drum groove of “Odessey” -- they make it as much about the destination, and its pittstops, as they do the journey. Keys change and choruses interfere: it’s all I ever wanted from a band like this. Go download me the Horrors discography.
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