It’s like a rucksack of bricks superglued to your shoulders – hype. Always hard to shake off, and once you’ve been proclaimed as the saviours of new music, and the answer to life, the Universe and everything, it’s like wading through the thickest Glastonbury mud to find some escape. So, casting all the aspersions aside, imagine you’d never read an article or heard anyone espousing the virtues of Black Midi – the London band, formed from Brit School members, who have had record labels falling over themselves to snap them up. Signing to Rough Trade their debut album has finally arrived, and it’s an absolute melting pot of weird and wonderful sounds, genres and tunes which gently wander in and out of your consciousness. I was expecting more on the melodic front, but after a few listens to the album, you realise Black Midi’s tunes are defiantly not indie dancefloor fodder, and provoke your musical brain into thinking ‘what the hell is that supposed to be?’ It’s music that has the capacity to be both intriguingly thought provoking and yet tuneful enough to make you want to put the album on again, and again. There’s elements of Slint, Sonic Youth, Boredoms, math-rock, modern jazz, noisecore, you could tie your fingers up in knots trying to write about this lot.

The drummer (Morgan Simpson) plays like he’s grown an extra three arms, while vocalist Geordie Greep sounds like a cross between PIL era Lydon and Mark E Smith, put that together with the soundscapes and sharp guitar riffs from Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin and bassist Cameron Picton, and the Black Midi sound emerges. ‘953’ has hefty riffs which find their rhythm then break apart to be reconstructed into a kaleidoscope of sounds and feedback, whereas ‘Reggae’ has an almost drum n bass groove underpinning it’s fast guitar bursts. ‘Western’ starts with gentle delicate guitar pickings before moving through various prog inspired sounds and off-kilter rhythms and sections before resuming its gentle groove then ‘Years Ago’ has Lightning Bolt inspired jolts of mayhem with Greep rambling away over the top. Although it’s good to be made aware of a potentially great band, it’s even better to dive into their music and have your preconceptions shattered, emerging with a new found love for a band you thought were going to sound different from this! Unexpectedly mind bogglingly brilliant!

Black Midi: Schlagenheim – Out Now (Rough Trade Records)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.