There’s some bands that want you to feel bad when you Google them. Take, for example, the shame I felt in the past year or so when looking up Black Kids, or – even worse – Sexy Kids. Then there’s bands that don’t seem to want you to be able to find them. Examples include N.A.S.A., Fridge, Hockey, Beirut and this lot here, The Middle East. Luckily for us, they’re worth tracking down. I first discovered this band somewhere late last year and got a little bit hooked on their track ‘Blood’.
The Middle East are a seven-piece (I think) band from Australia that have been fiddling about with their collection of instruments for about five years now and gigging around their native land building up a bit of a following (including a big show last night which also included a rather cool young lady called New Buffalo). It seems they’re still pretty unknown outside of Summer Bay, but if they have more songs of the quality of ‘Blood’ and the other tracks on their debut EP The Recordings of The Middle East, then I think they’ll soon be coming to the attention of quite a few people in this neck of the forest. ‘Blood’ sounds like all seven members giving all they’ve got, even when the song is at it’s most sparse and all you’ve got to focus on are the reassuring, high-pitch tones of the singer. It reminds me of Arcade Fire in it’s structure – dropping little pieces of brilliant joyous melody along the way before the eventual release, with everyone singing along to the non-sensical lyrics that seem so perfect that real words would never have made this much sense.
The EP is available on iTunes in Australia and New Zealand through Spunk Records, but there’s a couple of copies on Amazon.co.uk as well. Here’s that amazing track ‘Blood’ and a track that isn’t on the EP called ‘Pig Food’. It’s got a bit more of a brooding build-up than ‘Blood’ and reminds me more of The Besnard Lakes or some of Sigur Rós‘s recent stuff. I’d also highly recommend the other song currently on their MySpace, called ‘The Darker Side’. It’s calmer and kind of drifts by you in a more melancholic way than the other songs but will stay with you equally.