Midgar

Holographic Principle

Written by: TL on 04/03/2014 17:38:09

Back in 2010 a UK quintet by the name of Midgar debuted with an ambitious mini-album; styled like a mid-point between Fightstar and Muse and armed with a devilishly infectious lead single in "Lead Your Children To The Sky" - which still resurfaces regularly in my mind to this day - the band put itself on the radar, only to soon fade off again. So much so in fact that it wasn't until recently that I realized that they had followed up with their debut album "Holographic Principle" in August last year. Frankly I wondered how the hell I had missed it? Why hadn't this come up in my internet world somehow? Unsatisfied with such questions unanswered, I set out to find them out.

Firstly, the quick way to explain Midgar is that the London four-piece sounds quite a bit like Fightstar did on their second album "One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours". The backbone is hard-edged guitar-riffage that sounds like it comes out of a prog-rock band's rhythm section, while the lead melodies often come courtesy of dramatic, classical piano playing. The soundscape is ambitious and darkly theatrical, and in the centre sits the vocal work of Andy Wilson-Taylor who sings expertly and very likely draws inspiration from Fightstar's Charlie Simpson and Muse's Matt Bellamy, sliding gracefully up to an airy falsetto whenever he sees fit.

Midgar's character is a double-edged one however, because it is one of extreme loyalty to their own vision, which - despite resulting in these twelve skillfully composed tracks, most of which are almost five minutes or longer - gets very majestic and inapproachable to the listener. For lack of a better expression it feels like Midgar are wrapped up in their own epic more than they're eager to share it with the listener, and to be blunt, it sort of mystifies me that they can work so parallely to the formula Fightstar has worked into numerous memorable songs and still come up empty in terms of moments to equal the straight forward catchiness of the single that exposed their band in the first place.

The short of it is that I've been through "Holographic Principle" quite a few times now, and regretably the record never fully delivers on the promise of its otherwise uniquely compelling soundscape. It sounds extremely cinematic and carefully orchestrated, yet it feels like if you were listening to a soundtrack without watching the sci-fi epic it was meant for. It's pretty but unresolved, and essentially more of an atmospheric, homogenic mood record than one of compelling highlights sounding like they have something urgent to instill in the listener. For the same reason, I don't really know which specific song to recommend to the readers. Each one shows that Midgar know how to get my attention but not what to do with it once they have it, and after making that realisation a dozen times now, I feel forced to cop-out of this review while finding the explanation to my opening questions to be that Midgar have debuted with a disappointingly hollow kind of grandeur.

Download: Envy, We Are The Faithful
For The Fans Of: Fightstar, Muse,
Listen: facebook.com/midgaruk

Release Date 26.08.2013
Rocket Town

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