The Inside Pulse:
Danish band Mew’s second full-length, “And the Glass Handed Kites” is a sprawling, grand, 54-minute indie-prog journey. Without any “blank” space between songs, the album plays as one continuous song. With well thought pacing, the album ebbs and flows, incorporating plenty of loud/soft dynamic shift and layers upon layers of electronic orchestration. Wildly popular in their native country, this album was released overseas in 2005, but is finally getting stateside distribution this month.
Positives: Sonically, this album is amazing. Upon first listen, Mew recall an electronically infused Sunny Day Real Estate, but suddenly, on track three, “Why Are You Looking Grave?”, J Mascis joins in on lead vocals. Full of surprises, Mew’s sophomore album contains many touchstones of art rock and emo, but doesn’t fully indulge, creating an engaging blend or driving, orchestrated rock.
Negatives: Unlike Sigur Ros, whose “Hopelandish” is indecipherable, these Danes are singing in English. I just have no idea what they’re singing as the phrasing and mix make the songs feel less like “songs” and more like aural experiments. Also, at 54 minutes, it still SEEMS long. Maybe those song breaks should be revisited.
Cross-breed: Sunny Day Real Estate with lush electronic orchestration. A heavier Death Cab.
Reason To Buy: If you were a fan of 90s American underground groups like Dinosaur Jr. and Sunny Day Real Estate, tolerated Smashing Pumpkins and moved on to Radiohead, this is right up your alley.