Monday, August 28, 2006

Mew and my battle against the term "prog"

Oh prog, how you've been wronged. Much like "emo" or "tour de force," "prog" is the currently over used term for any sound that isn't in perfect 4/4 order. FYI - prog is short for Progressive, and usually written as Prog-Rock. The term makes little sense. Who doesn't want to be progressive? Unless you're a 80's metal band (I'm talking to you Metal Skool), every songwriter is looking to add something to the musical universe, and therefore wants to be progressive. As a result, there are only two types of bands/artists in the world, prog and boring.

Where does Mew fit in? There from Scandanavia, and they layer guitars over high vocals - I guess they're prog. At least that's the ticket Columbia records is taking with their newest import.

And the Glass Handed Kites is the band's fourth LP, and despite being released only last month in the US, it debuted in Europe last September. If I was forced to adopt the current labels for music, I would put Mew on the prog-pop shelf. When I think of current prog-rock, I hear Mars Volta. Mew's sound is more subtle and pleasant (this is coming from a huge Mars Volta fan, so don't confuse pleasant for an always positive term). "Apocalypso" has a strong driving chorus that could go head-to-head with anything on the radio, and "Zookeeper's Boy" shows a toned down side of the band. A common thread for me in Mew's sound is its cinematic quality. The music swells and soars in the vein of Sigur Ros, which makes for some great music videos (check out the video for "Special" below).

I've only heard great things about Mew's live performance so go here and get some tour dates.

Come see them in LA:

10/11/06 The Fonda

[mp3] Mew - Apocalypso
[mp3] Mew - The Zookeeper's Boy


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