Thursday, June 26, 2008

CD of the Day, 6/26/08: Middle States-Happy Fun Party

The Minneapolis band Middle States debuted in 2004 with the Great Portland Street EP, and it made a nice impression at the time; one of the tracks ended up on an IPO comp, and I personally enjoyed their mix of Americana, classic rock and power pop but kind of forgot about them in the intervening years. So it was a pleasant surprise to see them four years later finally releasing their debut full-length, Happy Fun Party.

The opening track "In Charge" firmly puts them in that position, a driving Replacements-meet-Big-Star rocker that has that Minneapolis rock sound. Tommy Stinson (if not Westerberg himself) would be proud of "No Curse No Drunk No Fight" with its insistent beat, take-no-prisoners attitude, and mini-guitar freakout at the end. "Straight to the All or None" channels 80s David Bowie, while "Thought Control" brings to mind Robert Pollard. Meanwhile, tracks named "Winds of Eidertown" and "Warlords of Ari" might have you thinking you've stumbled upon a Dungeons and Dragons concept album, but both are pleasant midtempo rockers. And it's probably not a shock that the track titled "Tumbleweeds" is the most Americana-ish of the tracks. But the real highlight of the disc is "Friday Night", which does a perfect job of evoking a night out on the town listening to bar bands set to a great power pop melody. If you like your power pop and rock served Midwest-style, you'll definitely want to crash Middle States' Happy Fun Party.

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1 comment:

The RIpple Effect said...

Hey, Just found your blog and love it. Check out what we're doing at the Ripple Effect, we spread the word on new, unheralded and lost classic artists, covering powerpop (like The Morningstars), metal, punk, prog. We have a Dave Dill Summertime report coming soon.

Let's exchange links? Let me know.

The Ripple Effect