Mew: + –

review mew x1 cong

It’s a week of bands we don’t know much about, Death Cab aside.
Mew have apparently released a number of albums, though we’ve never come across them before. Plus Minus is an odd mix of sounds: it’s prog but on the subtle side, with none of the thundering complexity so beloved of some bands in that genre. If you half listen to it you don’t reap the full reward. The drummer in the Review Corner likes it because on a number of songs on the guitar and vocals are slow and dreamy (“an ever-expansive musical backdrop denoting the extremities of the band’s creative DNA” as the Press notes say) and it’s the drums that give the tunes impetus. As well as being technically complex in places, it can also be slightly poppy, and in parts goes a bit Phil Collins in his dance/pop mode (My Complications is an example). They reminded us of 70s prog band Barclay James Harvest, too, so while it doesn’t sound dated it does have a nice retro feel going on.
In true seventies prog style, there are no real standouts and it needs listening to all the way through. We suspect its depths mean it could be a grower.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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