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As Our Blood Separates


Midas Fall


Monotreme Records

Release Date:


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Midas Fall are a four-piece rock act from Edinburgh, Scotland. My first introduction to this act came in the form of a press release pushing this EP, which features a remix of a song the band provided to the BBC TV show Lip Service. I have never heard of this show. Reading the press release, i noticed that the EP also features a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song. Apparently, Midas Fall, who are classified as post-rock, do a version of Hurt, originally from Reznor's 1994 epic The Downward Spiral. This intrigued me, so i downloaded the EP from the press company.

The first thing i noticed is that the word "post-rock" is being bandied about kind of loosely these days. Midas Fall have nothing in common with Godspeed You Black Emperor or Mogwai, two of the bands i consider to be the cornerstones of post-rock. Instead, Midas Fall make a sort of slow pop music that is often driven by piano. Sometimes they speed things up, using that post-rockish playing with tempo thing to their advantage, but that's about it. Otherwise, Midas Fall is a pop band.

Their songs are driven by the voice of Elizabeth Heaton, whose vocal style is about halfway between Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries and Regina Sosinski of Mira. At times Heaton's pronunciation hits that weird (to an American at least) tone that O'Riordan has, some sort of bizarre British Isles twisting of vowels. In general her voice is clear, high, and breathy like Ms. Sosinski. She does a fine job, if you like that sort of vocal work.

The music behind Ms. Heaton is crisp and balanced. A lot of thought went into the production here, and although the voice is up front, the music is well layered and never lost under the vocals. Ms. Heaton plays guitar in addition to singing, and she is backed up by keyboards, bass, and drums. There are a few little electro effects strewn about as well. The playing is a little on the sparse and moody side, which pairs well with new voice.

The EP starts off with BPD, a blend of nicely dramatic vocals and burbling synths under chiming guitar. At the end, there is a part where the guitar and voice are all lightly computer stuttered, like Autechre remixing a Mira song. This is a pretty cool effect, actually.

The title track (which is a sort of creepy combination of words, if you think about it), is a longer tune, about 7 minutes in length. With the extra space to stretch out in, the sparseness of Midas falls instrumentation reminds a lot of mid-era Hood (circa Rural Colours). That is, this is a long song that seems to meander with light percussion and droning synths. Heaton's voice takes the center stage, and the overall effect is the most post-rockish on the EP.

Carnival Song is a bit quicker, with lots of fast guitar, and sparse piano. Midas Fall add in some big, thudding drumming, which is a nice addition to the mix.

The song i came to the EP to hear is fourth. Of course, Midas Fall are a pretty different band than Nine Inch Nails, and that actually works to their benefit here. With Reznor's version, Hurt was slow and creepy, stretched out to a whisper then exploding in pained rage. With Midas Fall's version, the song is more balanced, letting Heaton's voice really shine. She turns in a great performance, really twisting Reznor's words as piano and guitar tinkle and the laptop crunches the beats. This is a good version of this song.

The EP ends with the Bunkk Bed Remix of their hit Moviescreens. I have not heard the original, but this is a remix of seesawing synths and skittering IDM beats. I think they left the vocals mostly intact, as one is want to do for a vocal intense band like Midas Fall. To be honest, when they are all IDMed up like this, Midas Fall kind of remind me of Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun. Heaton is a more emotive vocalist than Lauren Gibson, though.

I think that the vocal focus of this band will not be to everyone's liking, however, they are doing some interesting things. And they can cover the heck out of Nine Inch Nails.

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