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The Menagerie Inside
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Midas Fall have been around since 2009 and The Menagerie Inside is their third studio album. Hailing from the UK, the band have been described as “Electronica, Post-Rock, Shoegaze, and Alternative Rock with progressive and Gothic undertones.” While that’s certainly a mouthful to say out loud, the band touches boldly, and sometimes briefly, on all of those styles throughout this album.
The Menagerie Inside is a sonic journey for sure. While the band keep the rockin’ out on the down low, songs like “Low,” “Push,” and “Afterthought,” all have at least moments where the band really wails. It all manages to stay low key though because they keep it underneath the lead-style piano work and the mostly droning, not-quite gothic vocals. “Tramadol Baby” kicks it up a notch by eliminating some of the atmosphere and treading the edges of Post-Rock paths. It’s about as straightforward as the band gets on this album and it’s one of my favorite tracks.
For me, it’s the guitar work that really sets everything off here though, especially on the endcaps, “Push” and “Holes”. It’s very ethereal and reminds me a lot of Tess Wiley’s work on Sixpence None the Richer’s classic This Beautiful Mess or The Gatherings post-Home albums.
Overall this is a solid album that is slightly betrayed by its “live” production sound. The mixing just feels way off to me. It doesn’t have the full, crisp sound that would make the vocals really soar and the instruments really shine. It has the production of a 90’s Shoegazer album and it makes the songs fall a bit flat a little too often. Despite my issues with the sound, the songs manage to mostly rise above it all, which is what will keep you coming back.
Reviewed by Mark 1340