Friday, September 21, 2018

Album Review: 'Fixed Ideals' by Muncie Girls

Title:  Fixed Ideals (Official, Specialist Subject Records, Buzz RecordsBandCamp [Muncie Girls], BandCamp [Specialist Subject], Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)
Artist:  Muncie Girls (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, BandCamp, Spotify, Wikipedia)

Muncie Girl's return with the follow-up to 2016's brilliant From Caplan to Belsize withe the equally fierce and powerful Fixed Ideals.  While Fixed Ideals does pick up where From Caplan to Belsize left off, it is its own record that displays growth, change, and stylistic expansion resulting in a distinct piece that at the same time feels like it is part of the same whole.  In a lot of ways, Fixed Ideals is to From Caplan to Belsize what Wig Out at Denkos was to Dag Nasty's debut Can I Say?.  In both cases the follow up record sounds very much like the band in question, while at the same time exploring new ground.  And with each record, the opening tracks set the stage, letting the listener know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that things have changed.  In the case of Fixed Ideals, the record opens with the mid-tempo indie rocker "Jeremy," a devastatingly personal and angry song directed at guitarist/vocalist Lande Hekt's father.  from the the record kicks into gear with the ridiculously catchy first single "Picture of Health."  Continuing with the Dag Nasty comparison, the second song on Wig Out at Denko's "Trying" is classic Dag Nasty and sounds like it would have fit perfectly on Can I Say?; the same can be said for "Picture of Health" with its punchy and poppy indie punk infectious nature.  The rest of the album takes the indie punk genre and pushes its boundaries adding elements of indie pop ("Bubble Bath"), Manchester/baggy ("Isn't Life Funny"), and hints of post punk throughout.  The result is a record that sounds like a musical love song to all the great things that the British underground/punk scenes have had to offer for the last 40+ years.  And that's just the music!  Herkt's lyrics are filled with a palpable anger and frustration but never fall into despair.  In fact there is a hopeful tone to these songs, propelled by Herkt's distinctive vocals, that keeps the record from being a complete downer.  What makes Fixed Ideals such a great record is that it gets better with each and ever spin.  The record demands multiple listens and never disappoints. 

1 comment:

Travis Wilson said...

Awesome record. Thank you for giving this band some spotlight