Malcolm Middleton: A Brighter Beat (POD/Rhythmethod)

 |   |  <1 min read

Malcolm Middleton: Up Late At Night Again
Malcolm Middleton: A Brighter Beat (POD/Rhythmethod)

If there was a band name attached to this rather than Middleton's you'd be talking a Scottish supergroup. The line-up of players includes members of Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian, Reindeer Section and Delgadoes -- and Middleton was in the duo Arab Strap, a band which (like most of those mentioned) never quite gained a decent foothold in New Zealand.

This is Middleton's third solo album and from the churning opener (with the cheery information that "we're all gonna die") through the more folksy tracks, this one is chock full of musical ideas, great swirling rock songs and driven by his distinctive voice, and sometimes strings and horns. Mostly this just blazes out of the speakers (that opener; Death Love Depression Love Death) with a dark power that invites comparisons with Nick Cave's recent Grinderman project, and the moody melancholy of an Elliott Smith resurrected by Arcade Fire energy.

This album has had unanimous acclaim in Britain: "Triumphant" hailed Mojo; "the mood so majestically bleak you'll laugh for joy" said The Sunday Telegraph; and "one of the year's highlights" according to The Times. He also writes a searingly honest love song: "Fuck you, 'I love you'. There you go, three little words . . . When are you coming home? I don't want to be alone."

Yes, he can be bleak, but as the Telegraph said, you'll laugh for joy. That's when you aren't air punching to the sheer aural attack of some of these melodic and memorable rock-pop songs.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Superturtle: Beat Manifesto (Sarang Bang)

Superturtle: Beat Manifesto (Sarang Bang)

This is how all vinyl purchases should come, with a CD. If you'r going to shell out for a record -- and there's a limited edition of this one -- then you should of course get a free CD or download... > Read more

Helen Van Der Linden: Helen Van Der Linden EP (HVDL)

Helen Van Der Linden: Helen Van Der Linden EP (HVDL)

This EP arrived from the winnner of last year's Gold Guitar award at the annual Gore country music festival and she has already taken herself to Tamworth in Australia to further her career. And... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Candi Staton: Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man (1969)

Candi Staton: Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man (1969)

This song -- which has Dan Penn, George Jackson and Martin Green as co-writers -- is so elementally simple as to be little more than a pure outpouring of emotion when sexual desire overwhelms... > Read more

Easy Star All-Stars: Thrillah (Easy Star)

Easy Star All-Stars: Thrillah (Easy Star)

And of all the tributes to Michael Jackson, this might be the most expected. Easy Star All-Stars make a habit of taking classic rock and giving it the reggae/dub treatment (Beatles, Radiohead,... > Read more