Album review: The golden alien age of Mile Me Deaf

New album Alien Age is arguably Mile Me Deaf’s finest offering to date.

 

Mile Me Deaf is truly something else. The act has been impressing audiences for years with its experimentalist branch of psychedelia and fascination with the impending doom of mankind. So it’s only natural that, on latest album Alien Age, MMD changes the game entirely by going beyond previous sounds. This is the post-apocalyptic sound of an artist on the cutting edge of musical experimentation.

Not only does this latest offering mark the moment MMD’s cynical vision of the future surpassed the apocalypse and entered into the wastelands of the aftermath, but it’s also a turning point in the outfit’s career. The indie-psychedelia has gone for the most part and has been replaced by an array of previously untouched sounds. This is evident right from the outset; opening number Invent Anything throws some dub influence into the mix alongside electronic sounds, for a track unlike anything MMD has produced before.

This courses throughout the album. Fourth track The World We Own feels like a dub-influenced Kasabian track and Where Else is a glorious electroindie freakshow that is hypnotically haunting and enjoyable. Alongside the Chemical Brothers-esque psych-dance floorfiller that is Shibuya+, which has the stunningly mesmerising vocalwork of Sex Jams‘ Katarina Trenck, this album is the most ambitious and alien of MMD’s work to date.

Though the pushing of previously defined boundaries does not make this album any less enjoyable for seasoned listeners. The psychedelic indie guitars that have been a staple of MMD in the past remain present throughout this album, albeit in smaller doses and with much more of an apocalyptic urgency than before. For some tracks, like the stellar Blowout and title track Alien Age, the spacious guitars are the main source of instrumentation, while others use samples of that sound as a component to build stronger hooks. It is a bold step in a new direction for the artist, seeming less like a transition than a leap.

But this works for Mile Me Deaf, and it works tremendously well. The spirit of psychedelia is to defy the conventional and to create something that is abstract from the norm. In that sense, this is the band’s most psychedelic release to date. But in general terms, this is just the pinnacle of everything that has come before. Whatever follows will have a pretty high benchmark to surpass.

Alien Age will be released on Siluh Records on February 3, 2017.

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