What a breath of fresh air, what a shaft of warm sunshine it is, when a band knows how to keep it short and sweet, leaving you curious and hungry for more. It shows a sense of style and a considered delivery. It shows a band knows what they're going for, shooting for, driving at. Which is certainly the case with Honed, one of the most aptly titled EPs I've come across in recent memories.
Midcity are a young band out of the UK, just getting started. There's not a lot of info to be had. just this one lone Bandcamp/Soundcloud document, with its out-of-focus depiction some retro shopping centre. There's no member names - seemingly unimportant, secondary to the sound.
Being cryptic forces the listener to lean in and try and find out more. These guys aren't screaming in your face; they're intimidating, suggesting. They don't need to go for the hard sell, as is evident in the first groovy, throbbing seconds of album opener and title track "Honed".
Fast, funky, fingerpicked guitar meets a drop dead slinky bassline, while a vampiric elegant croon strikes a detached pose above the sheet of sound. You could define Midcity by the sum of their influences - I'd bet dollars for pounds they've listened extensively to The Strokes and Weezer (another reviewer mentioned the Arctic Monkeys and The Editors, but I've never listened to either much), plus perhaps a dosing of Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Tool/A Perfect Circle, or something equally thick and heavy.
But it doesn't matter. Even coming out of the gate, these guys seem to be owning their sounds, making something distinctive and unique. Which, personally, is my only requirement for great music/art. They're blending the force and fury of distorted rock with the catchiness of power pop, breaking up the pyroclastic flow and making it a bit more relatable. Meanwhile, it's all delivered with a well-ironed, in the singer's perfectly-delivered poise.
There's furious solos galore; memorable bass lines all over the place; perfectly synchronized, syncopated drumming, and great, moving lyrics. It's a little crazy they pack it all into less than 15 minutes. Like I said at the beginning, leaving you hungry for more. As the singer sings on final track "Slugger", "Don't forget me." I won't. I don't think I could.
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