The first thing that struck me about mikingmihrab when I saw them at the Khyber in Philadelphia on September 23, 2007, was that they have actual star quality. More so than most local indies I have seen, this band has that self-assured understated coolness that is neither a desperate plea to please please please make us the SNOCAP artist of the millisecond nor a floppy haired emogazer’s attempt to disappear behind clumps of eyeliner and wall of reverb, claim that he just wants to be left alone, and yet continue to seek stardom. No, neither of those. Rather, mikingmihrab are a charming collection of three personalities , each comfy in his own skin, self-assured, confident. When the actual act of musicmaking begins, each of them rocks out in accordance with the genetically prescribed template of his own demeanor, be it rife with physicality or more reserved. More than most local indies I have seen and met, I can picture a general public of your cooler, better-informed musicseekers becoming fascinated with mikingmihrab.
I believe that, all these indie-savvy listeners will immediately pick up on and appreciate, as I did, the seminal artists that influence mikingmihrab and how the trio pays respectful homage to these influences while infusing copious amounts of pure originality and experimentation into their work. The result is a winning combo of melody, traditional chord structure noise bursts and dissonance. Oh, and here''s the kicker -- songwriter/ lead singer/guitarist Michael Adams tops it all off with actual storytelling, sung and yelped, at times, in a voice remiscent of the young Black Francis, Thurston Moore, and Lou Reed. Hi-YA!!
From “OK, the band name means what?” to “Did he just say he wants to rape?” I see Welsh for Mutton Chops as an album that will raise eyebrows and lead to questions. In this age, it is so easy to ignore enigmatic things that worry, like a simple but devastating alteration of preposition (“MDMA”) or a blatant assault on polite society’s agreed-upon terminology (“bitch lives in the valley”) But again, with that hard to pin down dual nature of being just regular guys and yet at the same time thousands of times cooler than you could hope to be, I see a rather large and yet strictly delineated subsection of the global population refusing to ignore the tonal pronouncings of this band mikingmihrab.
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