black midi are one of the most exciting acts to come out of...um....we presume London in some time. Signed to Rough Trade and fond of creating a enigmatic image, this is their much anticipated debut. We at least have their names now (there's at least one double-barrelled in there) and we've been given the slither of info that this was recorded with Speedy Wunderground's Dan Carey. Could be one of the year's biggest new things.
Exclusive Vinyl LP £15.49 RT0073LPNRX
180g vinyl LP on Rough Trade. Housed in a gatefold sleeve. Includes an exclusive limited edition poster and 'Live in NYC' CD.
- NORMAN RECORDS EXCLUSIVE
- Includes download code
Vinyl LP £15.49 RT0073LP
180g vinyl LP on Rough Trade. Housed in a gatefold sleeve. Includes Live in NYC CD.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
- Includes download code
CD £8.49 RT0073CD
CD on Rough Trade. Includes fold-out poster of the colour collage and lyrics.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Here we go then, at last Schlagenheim from black midi. Let us begin in the most obvious way possible with track number one: '953'. Why is it called '953'? I'm not sure. I'm trying to work out if there is a time signature thing going on here, but I might just be overthinking that because as soon as the Talking Heads 12" came in I've been telling myself that Schlagenheim is going to be the best maths rock album in the world. I'm not even too sure if black midi would consider themselves as maths rock anyway, but I definitely do - Queens of the Stone Age-esque, BBC 6 Music friendly, post-hardcore, maths rock.
As I write these very words we've moved onto track number two - 'Speedway' - the very lyric in fact is talking about dog sh*t, old buildings and I think I've heard a discussion about gentrification. This track is a slow tension building exercise with, essentially, no song structure at all. Not a bad thing. Oh, I'll try not to just ramble on about literally each track on the record because it's boring, but we've moved onto track three - 'Reggae' - and I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm going to love every song on this entire album. There's something so gripping about their song formation. This could be down to their ability to blend radio-friendly sound with something utterly unique or that Dan Carey (Bloc Party, Hot Chip, Kate Tempest, Franz Ferdinand) produced this album. My guess is that it's a bit of both. You can be the best musicians in the world, but in 2019 you need a solid team around you to pull off an album that will get you the big gigs.
The entire record is truly brilliant. From the blasts of noise from 'Near DT,MI' that I'm guessing would be amazing to see live, through to 'Western'an almost onomatopoeic affair that sounds like an 8 minute long maths rock song if it was based in and around the US Western states. (Look, I've never been but my brother who has assures me that 'Western' is what an 8 minute long maths rock song would sound like there.)
We're getting towards the end of the record now with 'bmbmbm' and this one reminds me of an album from last year: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want. Both are industrial in places, high intensity and basically spot on. We've had a conversation in the office recently about giving albums full marks and this one, for me, is certainly touching 10/10 territory...but not quite all the way there. This a great debut album from black midi and they can count me in as a massive fan.
9/10 Luke 8th July 2019I've seen Black Midi a couple of times live over that past two years, and been blown away bothe times. So I was really looking forward to the album dropping. It really doesn't dissapoint; jarring in places, beautiful in places and always interesting.
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