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Midlake - Bamnan And Slivercork CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.21 | 14 ratings

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2 stars On this debut MIDLAKE established its "lo-fi" credentials, which were subsequently wagged off the drawing board by the tails of Mr Occupanther a few years later. While this quirky pop disk possesses a certain charm, particularly in the early going, the overall impression that I can't shake is that it's rather silly, amateurish and half-hearted. I know this is likely the point of the exercise and the whole lo fi movement. but I can't see a lot of prog fans embracing the utter lack of gravitas any more than the quirky instrumentation that sounds like a hack saw being bent just so, so often. That said, I have read reviews describing this as their most proggy and best release, but you've been forewarned.

When I saw the band live a few years ago, they made light of this material and strongly implied that they would just as soon omit it. If this were an EP containing the best tracks, like "They Cannot Let it Expand", "Balloon Maker", "King fish pies" and "Some of them were superstitious", it might garner a favorable rating just for its off kilter BEACH BOYS meets BEATLES whimsy on 21st century designer drugs, but, really, the last half is utterly extraneous even by the modest standards set by the first. One can discern a superficial kinship with some of the lighter fare out of the Canterbury scene, but when you gingerly cross the wobbly suspension bridge, you'll find yourself in a Texas college town, where apparently, by state law, students can now carry concealed guns. I might suggest that this disk be the first and only victim.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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