There Goes The Fear have been writing quite a lot about Danish pop-come-prog rock trio, Mew, recently. We can’t help it…we’re all super excited about their return this August, and we think you should be too…
This week, TGTF were lucky enough to be handed the band’s upcoming fifth album, ‘No More Stories/Are Told Today/I’m Sorry/They Washed Away/No More Stories/The World Is Grey/I’m Tired/Let’s Wash Away’. Although we think this album title is beyond awesome, if it’s all ok with you, we’re gunna shorten it to the first three words henceforth. Anyway… described by the band’s press release as a “towering masterpiece”, we were obviously more than eager to check this record out as soon as we got it.
‘No More Stories’ kicks off with ‘New Terrain’, an epic and experimental number which ultimately resembles the sound of that one time you reversed one of those Pink Floyd tracks in order to hear that rumoured subliminal message. Ending on a flourish of beautiful strings, ‘New Terrain’ leads nicely into ‘Introducing Palace Players’. The track starts amid a funky guitar riff, before in come bubbly space-age synths and angelic harmonies. ‘Introducing Palace Players’ is our first taste of Mew’s preference for lack of structure in a song, however the track certainly has an underlying, contagious groove to it throughout. Track four, ‘Repeater Beater’ is similarly mismashed. Kicking off with an unexpectedly brash opening – suddenly in comes a super jagged, uncomfortable guitar riff. However, Mew counterbalance the harsh sound with their beautifully poppy harmonies, tying the song together nicely into a surprise-filled 2.34 minutes.
However, Mew certainly aren’t scared of the odd long track. ‘Cartoons and Macreme Wounds’ is a psychedelic 7 minute wonder, angelically trippy from start to finish thanks to its spacey synths, haunting falsetto harmonies and dramatic percussion. ‘Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy’ is similarly lengthy at 5 minutes and 21 seconds long. A sentimental piano opens up the track, before in comes a sudden onslaught of synths and energetically high, Flaming Lips-style vocals. Before we know it, dreamy sounds are coming at us in all directions, while chirpy hand claps and uplifting kid choirs simultaneously add a real touch of brightness to this sunny song. Meanwhile, ‘Hawaii’ is another super-warming track amid ‘No More Stories’. Trancey vocals combined with fun, calypso-style percussion gives this otherwise space-aged song an exotic, luminous-edge.
Tracks such as ‘Silas the Magic Car’, ‘Vaccine’ and ‘Tricks’ are proof that Mew’s harmoniously trippy sound can sometimes drag a little. Despite the band’s undeniable inventiveness amid every single song, Mew’s music can often begin to sound the same, mainly due to lack of change in the vocal department. However, the band ultimately end ‘No More Stories’ on a brilliant note with track 14, ‘Reprise’. The song starts off intriguingly minimalistic until the synths and epic percussion truly kicks in. Subtle echoes of dreamy vocals shine through this instrumental-led song, until suddenly all sounds numb, leaving us with nothing but the haunting words of “Hang on to me. That’ll be the first words that you learn. Listen child and believe them ’till you die. Not long for me, for you see that dreams have all grown. And I still want ten children of my own…”. Emotionally-charged synths continue to linger for a few minutes, before quietly drifting away, ending ‘No More Stories’ on an incredibly haunting, hairs standing up on the back of your neck-note.