Me & Munich - Gaslighting (album)
My attempts to write about ‘quiet music’ lasted about a day, but there is rather a hefty stream of ‘noise rock’ style releases in our inbox, and first on the list is Danish band Me & Munich, which I’ll resist changing to ‘Munich & I’. They release their debut album ‘Gaslighting’ this week.
So Me & Munich are from Aarhus, although reading a Danish article about the guys at least 2 of them originated from Jutland. They released their ‘Knives of their Sun’ EP back in 2018 as a trio, and there’s been a couple of additions and departures since then. On Facebook they list Husker du as an ‘artist we also like’ (particularly good to see), as well as Sonic Youth and Pixies – they’re clearly just missing a little Cardiacs in their lives and everything will be complete.
Anyhow they now have a debut album entitled ‘Gaslighting’, and it’s an interesting release with a polished sound that differs from the dirty, DIY rock style of bands such as Dog, Paper, Submarine that we wrote about recently – and it’s certainly more Foo Fighters than Sonic Youth. ‘Radical’ opens and the approach is clear, big driving guitar riffs contrasted with melancholy vocals, plenty of tunes and a switch in pace which keeps things interesting. ‘Peace of My Mind’ even heads slightly in the direction of New Model Army, with those echoing guitars that I always like, and a thumping guitar conclusion. But the comparisons with NMA are brief, and certainly they don’t match them lyrically as ‘Rainbow Attack’ shows - ‘’I’ll have to rest my case / not a chance not for a minute / wait for your lesson learned but I will catch you when you fall’’ – I’m not entirely convinced, but hey, the guitar and drum combo still sound great.
‘Searching for Something’ keeps the momentum going, it might not have quite the melodic edge of previous tracks but the guitars in the middle have a hint of Lord Bob Mould which is to be enjoyed, whilst ‘The Worst In Me’ opens acoustically before building into an anthemic number.
Inevitably ‘Whatever Comes My Way’ returns to the high velocity format, but again showing they have an ear for a big chorus, and although ‘Ambient Abuse’ is the only track where the vocals don’t quite hit the mark, ‘Gaslighting Pleasure’ is a real highlight, with a restrained ‘verse’ which gives a bigger emphasis when the chorus hits. Concluding track ‘Right Shoulder Devil’ rattles along at typical Me & Munich pace, agitated vocals cut to one final chorus, an unusual offbeat instrumental section which I like and a curious ending which I’m not quite so sure about.
It’s certainly all pretty impressive musically, and I like the formula– big tunes, even bigger guitars and different shades of darkness and light in the dynamics, with variations in pace too that keeps things interesting. I haven’t completely fallen in love with the album yet, and maybe that’s because although I like the idea behind the theme of the album (how humans are ‘’capable of manipulation and planting seeds of doubt into one another’’), the lyrics haven’t quite hit home enough to make it identifiable. Also the movement / shifts between sections of songs feel a little ‘clunky’ at times – again I’d reference Cardiacs (sorry) as a band who are able to play complex structured ‘stop / start’ songs and somehow do it seamlessly.
However I like the scale, ambition and sound of the band. Me & Munich are definitely on to something with their approach and I really hope that ‘Gaslighting’ gets the attention it deserves. It’s an enjoyable listen and released on Friday.
Nordic Music Review 7.5/10
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