Monday, February 6, 2012

The Top 12 of 2011: #5 - Mittenfields

In years past, I've tended to fret and stress and just about hyperventilate about the whole "so many records to catch up on, so little time" situation that is the creation of those end of year/best of lists. In order to alleviate some of the fretting (and the frown lines!), I've decided it was time to streamline the whole process and make it something beautifully simple. I chose a dozen records that I've really loved this past year, and ranked them. The rankings, friends, come courtesy of the ole iPod. It's practically scientific, y'all! What the iPod says goes. At least, this time anyway.

Why I Decree It To Be So: "This EP is the sound of something totally new and wonderful for this here city best known for hardcore and go-go. Sonic touchstones here vary from Pavement to the Arcade Fire to early Verve to 90s college radio, but Mittenfields has evolved a sound that is quite singular indeed. Each song feels like an epic, orchestrated on a grand scale, almost every note pulsating with an electric charge. Mann’s empassioned, occasionally appealingly muddy yelps are given dramatic flourish thanks to the intense, intricate strummings of Seale, Ball, and Sherwood, and Moran keeping time with authority and ease. The songs are at once hugely different yet seemingly fitting together hand in glove, thanks to all that dang talent this band possesses in spades. The Fresh Sum EP impresses from the burning intensity of first song “My Mind is An Avalanche” to the closing seconds of the rambunctious “Goliath FTW,” and everything in between is a treat to listen to. For now, my personal favorite is “Mixed Signals (On The Rocks),” all starry-eyed slow motion, shoegaze, and wave upon wave of sonic splendor. Taking a more straightforward, rock-centric approach, “Swim In A Tight Parallel” is choc full of shouty vocals and mountainous riffage, given just the right amount of fuzz. “Cascades” begins with a wash of Verve EP-esque distortion, ever so lovely, before evolving into a sweeping, guitar-laden weighty sprawl. If this is what Mittenfields can do on just one EP, I for one can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. (more here)

mp3: Cascades (Mittenfields from The Fresh Sum EP)

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