The Middle East
The Recordings of the Middle East


4.0
excellent

Review

by xNintendoCorex USER (8 Reviews)
May 8th, 2009 | 153 replies | 18,149 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A highly pleasant mix of folk indie and all things nice.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The recordings of The Middle East is a collective of 8 tracks written and recorded by the band over june 2007 through till march 2008. Having been around on and off for a few years they have been producing a diverse form of dreamy indie pop, akin to bands such as anathallo or the lighter moments of mewithoutYou. Drawing influence from all over the place these talented queenslanders consistently manage to produce highly infectious and rather soothing melodies, as they so willingly display on this 8 track release.

From start to finish this collection of recordings has a soft wistful sense about it, each track, dynamically unique, moves through various stages of light soulful reflection right through to jarring moments of epic instrumentation. The overall tone can best be described as the moments in between dreams, where youre in that trance like state where you are not asleep but you are not fully awake. Each song whilst unique, maintains this slight sense of levitation, like they were floating above the clouds at each step of the writing process.

The songs move through at a fairly quick rate despite the fact the tracks clock in at an average time of 6 minutes each. Leaving much of the hard work coming across simply as a blur. At times, the sweeping guitars, the heartfelt crooning and the warming percussion all blend into one 8 track melodic movement that always seems to end sooner than you anticipated. But at the same time each song carries its own sense of weight in a different way, almost like the listener, while in a good place, has stopped to think for a minute and reflect on various aspects of their life.

Like many other bands in a similar vein, The Middle East use a wide array of sounds and instruments including xylophone, tambourine, flute and strings all of which are employed in just the right amount to make their melodies or rhythms stand out above the general hum of the guitar bass and drums. For the most part the vocals come across as another instrument in the sound of The Middle East. Following the ambient feel of the other instruments, the vocals are a very soothingly light mostly falsetto layer over the rest of the instruments.

Track #2 'Beleriand' (The Silmarillion much?) is probably the strongest representation of the bands amazingly dreamy live show put to record. From the start its breaks out like the sun popping out from behind a set of clouds on a highly overcast day. The electric guitars tambourine bass and drums drive the listeners through one of the 'rockier' moments of the recordings until the song strips back like the emerging clouds to a single acoustic guitar, with the reverberating delayed sounds of the electric guitar providing the perfect backdrop for the rest of the instruments to re-emerge and cover up the acoustic guitar one by one. The brushed drums and looming bass guitar provide the perfect pad to stop the song from falling in on itself with some well placed accents and a changing phrase length driving the entire mood of the greater half of the song. The song ascends around 4minutes in, with the snare hits getting harder and the sweeping guitar as well as the all the other instruments being overdriven into a fuzzy blend of melody.

Whilst not perfect, The Middle East have provided an extremely strong set of songs that convey a high level of craftsmanship, as well as a level of maturity and cohesion bands of this style usually find later in their careers.

The future is surely bright for these aspiring queenslanders.



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user ratings (102)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
doug (4.5)
The Middle East shower you with folk tinged post rock, in an album that will lighten anyones spirits...


Comments:Add a Comment 
tombits
May 9th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review, will check out.

Waior
May 9th 2009



11420 Comments


Sounds awesome.

AtavanHalen
May 9th 2009



17927 Comments


Zeke, why do you hate punctuation so much?
I love this band.

tombits
May 9th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I listened to Blood on myspace and loved it, getting the album now.
Really reminds me of Fleet Foxes, especially the vocals.

xNintendoCorex
May 9th 2009



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh bloods really good, but i seriously think beleriand is better hehe. theyre such a super talented but rather, unknown band. Its crazy!
haha.

dave, i dont hate punctuation, i just like to fit lots of content in each sentence hahaha.

you hear the forest's putting out a split?

AtavanHalen
May 9th 2009



17927 Comments


Sure did; can't waittttttttttttt

xNintendoCorex
May 9th 2009



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

should be amazing, you have to review it.
gnarlyyyy

tombits
May 9th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

this is fucking good, so chilled.

xNintendoCorex
May 9th 2009



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

glad you enjoy it!
more people need to hear of them.

tombits
May 11th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

definitely, Bloods is still the best for me.
don't know what's going on with Tsietsi, that thing is huge.

Kiran
Emeritus
May 19th 2009



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pig Food sounds like a Sigur Ros song I don't remember the name of. Blood is suuuuch a good song too.

rocktrap
June 14th 2009



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I heard the song Blood on the radio about 8 months ago and fell in love with it. I got the album soon after and was amazed that the rest of the album was also of such great quality. I had the privilege of seeing them live last night and even getting to chat to a few of the members after the show. Their live set is even more amazing than the album. They pulled off the harmonies perfectly. All of the members had insanely great voices. Each of them could have been the lead singer of their own band but have decided to collaborate. And i'm so thankful that's the case. I hope these guys can find success. They surely deserve it.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 14th 2009



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys are suddenly everywhere in the indie circuit here, its awesome.

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon

xNintendoCorex
June 15th 2009



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh its pretty crazy, theyre playing splendour i think from memory.

tombits
June 15th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I hope they play an underage show in Melbourne soon.

xNintendoCorex
June 15th 2009



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

didnt they play on sunday?
my gf was telling me about it.

AtavanHalen
June 15th 2009



17927 Comments


Can't wait to see them at Splendour in the Arse, will be awesomeballs.

xNintendoCorex
June 15th 2009



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cockballs.

tombits
June 18th 2009



3463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

didnt they play on sunday?
my gf was telling me about it.

They played a show in Northcote, but it was over 18 I think.

xNintendoCorex
August 4th 2009



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

anyone catch them at splendour?



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