I don't know what it is with me and the electronic pop music lately. Along comes Old World Underground Where Have You Gone? by Metric, and now this nice little release by Midwest Product and I suddenly feel like it's the 80s or something all over again. Heck, I might as well start feathering my hair again and bust out my OMD records for old times sake.
Okay, so the truth of the matter is that I never feathered my hair (thank goodness, although I did have a horrible flat-top at one point), but one of the first types of music that I really found myself enjoying a lot when I first started seriously getting into music was a direct parent to Midwest Product. Although the machines have been updated for the new decade, this trio of musicians is another growth ring on the tree trunk that contains New Order and Depeche Mode (yeah, and OMD) a little further in. All in all, this half-hour (7 song) release shows a ton of promise from the group, and while they're truly at their best when being more subtle, I have to admit I find myself singing along with even their more straightforward tracks.
They open up the release with two of said tracks, and on "Dead Cat" and "Bank" the group layers glimmering keyboards and effects over a mixture of live and programmed beats while swervy basslines and pretty much silly vocals keep things on the obvious side. Around the halfway point of the disc, there's a noticible change, though, and by the time the group reaches the final three tracks, it has hit a lovely stride. "Duckpond" mixes uplifting guitars with delayed flutters of keyboards and a building rhythm section while "Motivator" is a delightful electro-pop track that will hook it your head like crazy. "Umbrella" closes out the disc in Morr Music land as delicate keyboard melodies stutter and sway over more quiet guitars and a hazy bed of synths. In the end, this release isn't going to blow any heads open with staggering new ideas, but it will put a little swerve in your step and have you hoping for more from the trio.