Black Midi


(Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Schlagenheim (2019), 6.5/10
Cavalcade (2021), 5/10
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London quartet Black Midi (vocalist Geordie Greep, guitarist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin, bassist Cameron Picton and drummer Morgan Simpson) debuted with Schlagenheim (Rough Trade, 2019) which seemed to stage a revival of post-rock of the 1990s. It opens with 953, that sounds like a medley of Captain Beefheart and Sonic Youth, except to transition almost immediately into a Family-like soul-rock litany. Atonal, irregular pieces like Speedway and Ducter evoke Slint's post-rock mixed with Canterbury-school prog-rock. The more visceral Near DT - MI sounds like Unwound with a coda of swirling dance-punk. The eight-minute Western is their take on the pop ballad with a bit of Frank Zappa-esque insanity, a Nashville-ian banjo and Robert Fripp-ian guitar. The declamation and the impetus make Of Schlagenheim sound like a syncopated version of Pere Ubu. Some of the songs are simply trivial (for example, the spoken-word Bmbmbm, which was also their first single). The vocals are the weakest element, the drumming probably the strongest (notably in the otherwise pointless Reggae). The album is rather confused and at times annoyingly dejavu.

They also released the singles Crow's Perch (2019), Talking Heads (2019), Ducter (2019), 7-Eleven (2019), and Sweater (2020).

(Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Pierluigi Napoli)

Il quartetto di Londra Black Midi (il cantante Geordie Greep, il chitarrista Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin, il bassista Cameron Picton e il batterista Morgan Simpson) ha debuttato con Schlagenheim (Rough Trade, 2019) che sembra mettere in scena un revival del post-rock degli anni ‘90. Si apre con 953, che suona come un medley tra Captain Beefheart e i Sonic Youth, a parte la transizione quasi immediata in una litania soul-rock in stile Family. Atonali e irregolari, pezzi come Speedway e Ducter evocano il post-rock degli Slint combinato al prog-rock di scuola Canterbury. La piu’ viscerale, Near DT – MI, suona come gli Unwound con una coda di dance-punk vorticoso. Gli otto minuti di Western sono la loro versione di ballata pop con un pizzico di follia Frank Zappa-iana, un banjo Nashville-iano e chitarra in stile Robert Fripp. La declamazione e l’impeto fanno sembrare Of Schlagenheim come una versione sincopata dei Pere Ubu. Alcune canzoni sono semplicemente banali (ad esempio, lo spoken-word Bmbmbm, che e’ anche il loro primo singolo). Il canto e’ l’elemento piu’ debole, la batteria probabilmente il piu’ forte (in particolare in Reggae, altrimenti inutile). L’album e’ piuttosto confuso e a volte fastidiosamente superato.

Hanno anche pubblicato i singoli Crow's Perch (2019), Talking Heads (2019), Ducter (2019), 7-Eleven (2019), e Sweater (2020)

Cavalcade (2021) is an inferior work. The prog-rock frenzy John L and the neurotic jazz-rock jam Slow are lazy and facile affairs. The one substantial piece, the emphatic ten-minute ballad Ascending Forth, borders on folk music, on the Broadway showtunes and on the neoclassical lied. It is the only reason for this album to exist.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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