By tully | "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael Tully July 25, 2006 at 7:20AM
Well, today is the day that Midlake's sophomore record, "The Trials of Van Occupanther," is finally released unto the world. I've been listening to it steadily for months, and its power has only increased upon subsequent-after-subsequent listen. These polite young gentlemen from 21st Century Texas have somehow channeled American Frontier spirits to deliver a truly transcendent musical experience. "The Trials of Van Occupanther" is honest, sincere, mature, and gorgeous, a modern classic if there is such a thing.
I just got back from seeing them at the Black Cat in DC with SOUND Team and Cold War Kids, and while I very much enjoyed their performance, the lack of fully realized harmonies and an overall sense that the sound wasn't as good as it could have been left me feeling slightly disappointed. Also, they played a clipped set, which didn't help matters. I'm looking forward to seeing them in a proper venue when they're the headliner. SOUND Team opened with "Handful of Billions," the only song I really wanted to see, and I have to confess, their live performance of it didn't give me chills at all. Their whole set was fine, but I was also underwhelmed by their presentation. It figures that the only band I didn't know anything about, Cold War Kids, turned out to be the revelation of the night. I was planning on catching a song or two before disappearing to the comfort of the bar, but their delivery was so impressive that I gladly watched their entire set. I wonder if their recordings capture the fiery energy of their live act. I sure hope so.
So, I guess the point here is that you MUST buy Midlake's "The Trials of Van Occupanther" right now. It's as good as music gets these days, I ain't kidding...