MIEN’s self-titled debut is a rather exciting collaboration between The Black Angels' Alex Maas, Tom Furse of The Horrors, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir and John-Mark Lapham of The Earlies. Released on Rocket Recordings, this is bound to be a trip.
Rishi Dhir’s sitar starts Earth Moon before Alex Maas’s familiar voice comes in along with a very Baggy drum loop. The feel is of The Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows – a danceable beat with layers of psychedelic sounds. Tom Furse’s keyboards add a 70s/80s flavour to the Psychedelic Soup. The next song, Black Habit, was the first track that MIEN worked on. It has a more modern sound with an urgent, Motorik drum loop and warm synth sounds. Maas is singing towards the bottom of his range before jumping up for the chorus. Again there are layers of sounds. A slightly distorted hip-hop drum pattern starts (I’m Tired of) Western Shouting. Maas contributes a high and a low vocal on this as the synths bubble. This time the synth sounds are quite Industrial (or what they used to call Futurepop – VNV Nation, etc.). It’s still ostensibly Psychedelic but the sound palette is very different. You Dreamt is also quite Industrial, but it’s Nine Inch Nails this time with the sound of breathing and the distorted drums. Maas’s performance is more spoken word and again is on two or three tracks. It’s a bit of a stranger track this and not as immediate given the lack of a vocal melody. However, it does have a sinister feel to it that expands the range of the album. Other is all keyboard drones – high, middle and low. Essentially an Ambient piece, it is another welcome change of pace and the first track to leave off the drum loops and the vocals. It segues into Hocus Pocus and the return of Maas on vocals...