Black Midi
Schlagenheim


4.5
superb


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: some wicked shit

In everybody’s life at some point comes a moment that will define your future. It can be an interview for a job you want and will hopefully spend the rest of your life doing or progressing in. It can be a decision in your personal life that completely turns everything upside down (for better or worse). And it certainly can be a performance that goes so well that it drags in the majority of your newfound fans and puts you on people’s lookout forever. Black Midi’s KEXP performance is like Future Islands’ appearance on Letterman, a complete gamechanger. Their on-stage antics, hijinks and occasional bloopers made for an incredibly charming experience, while the song-writing oddity and its eccentric delivery created intrigue. And now they have their debut full-length out building on the momentum of their sudden rise to success. Well, I can see clearer than ever that this quick fame catch is justified. Imagine Michael Gira under the influence of Melvins and/or The Pop Group, produced by Shellac, playing songs in homage to Pere Ubu. Now play around with the order of those names a few times and you’ll get this album’s tracklist. Their songs rarely follow any predictable structure, you can rarely pinpoint a specific influence on a specific track or a moment, the ruthlessness in songs rarely comes from the same kind of song-writing and the energy, delivery style and instrumental components are rarely static. “953” is a blast of noise and punk extravagance. “Speedway” delves into much dub-infused post-punk, while the follower “Reggae” contains a catchy goth-like vocal tune and delivery with instruments that almost feel like jazz fusion. A more straightforward noise punk on “Near DT, MI” and a complete opposite on the more drawn-out, in-every-direction-reaching, sophisticated “Western”. “Of Schlagenheim” at times feels like a mix of dancepunk and prog. “bmbmbm” then takes a turn for no wave. “Years Ago” applies bluesy song-writing to an insane noisy instrumentation and production. Then the closer “Ducter” then sums the album up beautifully in a cacophony of danceability, mild progressive calm, cluster*** of boisterous blistering production and eventual climax in the utter musical insanity of sounds and noises. And all of a sudden, the brief album is over; all of its piercing guitarwork that can turn quiet and thoughtful; all of its rowdy drumming that are at times reminiscent of a musical equivalent of spasm-filled killing spree; its collection of brief, in-the-moment jumps from genre to genre, from style to style, from influence to influence, from anarchistic disorganisation to pedantic order. Schlagenheim is nothing if not a meticulously crafted chaos, a stroke of genius in a petri dish of insanity and a beautifully zany turn on a conventional structure of music.



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user ratings (134)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
June 21st 2019


22127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a brief one for a brief one

anatelier
June 21st 2019


2818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad I have a suitable place to gush about how fantastic this is

luci
June 21st 2019


11288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

schlonghymen

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 21st 2019


7360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Zing

Digging: Joliette - Luz Devora

zakalwe
June 21st 2019


28032 Comments


Wankers shifting commodity. You’re being lied to.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 21st 2019


7360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh word?

WatchItExplode
June 21st 2019


6875 Comments


This has a wonderful sort of slipshod urgency going on. I also enjoy the vocal fits when they show up.

zakalwe
June 21st 2019


28032 Comments


All studied and learned. Not earned.

Demon of the Fall
June 21st 2019


11414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice... ‘tactical dot deployed’ (I can’t do an actual dot).

Digging: Melt-Banana - Bambi's Dilemma

zakalwe
June 21st 2019


28032 Comments


Pos’d the review though

luci
June 21st 2019


11288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the knock on them is that they went to a famous art school? who cares they're talented as fuck

zakalwe
June 21st 2019


28032 Comments


I care. Brit School bollocks. Burn it.

DoofDoof
June 21st 2019


4321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There’s just something about this

anatelier
June 21st 2019


2818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's a strange vendetta Zak

Taxt
June 21st 2019


1327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This rules

DoofDoof
June 21st 2019


4321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In defence of Zak - an album ringing even a little bit phoney can kill my appreciation for something that’s otherwise technically ‘my thing’ stone dead



The classic Doof example: Ryan Adams

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 21st 2019


7360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah honestly it makes sense

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2019


4508 Comments


good album

zakalwe
June 21st 2019


28032 Comments


tbh it is good but Quentin, Tabitha Habinsta and Flouncer can go and fuck themselves. You’re not a band you’re a brand.

DoofDoof
June 21st 2019


4321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well we have a Morgan and a Cameron



But also a ‘Geordie’?



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