Local Wire

Midlake

What was old is new again. The Burt Reynolds 'stache. Polyester. The Pet Rock. Okay, you might not see a revival of the eight-track tape, but you will see a lot of current young bands picking up and incorporating a lot of the wild experimentation happening within mainstream rock and pop of the '70s. Punk, New Wave, disco, and prog rock all lived together in an uneasy harmony, and it's all finding its way into the heady music of Midlake. Straight out of the heyday of '70s harmony groups like Fleetwood Mac and Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Texas quintet resurrects brilliant three-part vocal arrangements in its laid-back, acoustic pop, layered with a thin veneer of humming '70s synths. Lead vocalist Tim Smith — along with McKenzie Smith (drums), Paul Alexander (bass), Eric Nichelson (keyboards) and Eric Pulido (guitar) — lays down strummy acoustic indie pop as seen through rose-colored lenses. The group's latest disc, The Trials of Van Occupanther, finds Midlake honing its songwriting skills and gaining a national following along the way. So pull up a beanbag chair and cue up a few reruns of The Brady Bunch on Betamax tape if you can.
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Chris Nixon