Review of Mew's album No More Stories released through Columbia.
Despite passing fifteen years as a band 'Mew' have always retained an innocent quality. The fey, quivering but rarely off-key vocals of Jonas Bjerre bore a striking resemblance to the testicularly-challenged pre-teen warblings of Aled Jones on their debut album 'A Triumph For Man', and the exploding guitars and dreamy synths of break-through LP 'Frengers' painted wondrous technicolour tapestrys full of imagination and make-believe that stood almost at a contrast to the Danes' increased profile and status, at least in more fanboy/girlish circles, as pin-ups.
And whilst the band have gained in velocity and confidence throughout the years there is still an element of wonder and mischief in their music, not least in their fifth full-length albums title; 'No More Stories/ Are Told Today/ I'm Sorry/ They Washed Away/ No More Stories/ The World Is Grey/ I'm Tired/ Let's Wash Away'. 'New Terrain' and 'Repeaterbeater' marry the schematics and near-nonsensical broken English lyrics present in earlier material to a racier pulse and edgier instrumentation. This is done in a similar way to 'Special' and 'Zookeepers Boy' from their most recent full-length '...And The Glass Handed Kites', but here the results are much more focused and aggressive, however strange it seems to associate such an adjective with the band. Here the influence of Dinosaur Jr (past collaborators), Superchunk, Husker Du and the like are worn on the sleeves instead of sheepily introduced into epic choruses.
True, with traditional lines between songs instead of a flowing structure it is readily apparent that there is more 'filler' held within 'No More Stories...' than its predecessor, but the troughs of 'Silas The Magic Car' and the overly long 'Cartoons & Macreme Wounds' only serve to accentuate the highlights of 'Beach' and 'Vaccine'. The true pinnacle of the album however is the penultimate track, 'Sometimes Life Isn't Easy'. Like M83 in their acclaimed opus 'Saturday=Youth' they start off with epic eighties pop (think Kate Bush and the ilk) and take it to the skys, pushing verses to the outer atmosphere and choruses to the furthest reaches of the stars.
'No More Stories..' may be slightly sickly and, for those familiar with the band, a slight disappointment but it still offers enough hooks and surprises to warrant a purchase, and with a streamlined and more radio-friendly blueprint it looks likely to bring the Danish triumvirate further into the mainstream.
Official Site -