Steal Your Face
Sometimes I like my music raw and unrefined, mixed with intellectualism, sarcasm, wordplay and frenzy. Sometimes it annoys the ever loving shit out of me. Mi Ami has both sucked me in and driven me crazy with their new “album” Steal Your Face. The Bob Marley re-appropriation on the cover, mixed with Cherry Garcia the wastoid and what I believe is Karen Carpenter on the inner sleeve speaks to the title, and tears at the icon. I think. Honestly, I haven’t put a lot of effort into it. The images are slashed and pasted and copied and frankly old Bob looks like a junkie down from a binge. The visual blasche flax on the front, the dark hues surrounded by rainbow bright niftyness speaks to what is the package holds. Broken guitar lines, rich, drum circle beats and driving, funkified bass lines.
Straddling all this is Daniel MrMith-McCormick’s vocals (this is not his real name, but I am too lazy to look it up because it’s too long to actually remember. I don’t remember the drummer or the bass players names either, so I will make those up to). On Watersports the trio’s debut album, the screechy, falsetto, out of tune vocals took up way too much space. I wanted to punch that kid when I heard it and made the record mostly unlistenable, which was a shame, because it showed promise. By here on Steal Your Face Mac-Winterface has mixed the caterwauling down a notch or three, allowing the important parts to take front and center. What emerges is a tight as fuck band, and all this despite the most cracked, reworked and unplayed guitar I have ever heard. The shit is genius, it’s a six sting language that no one has ever heard before on this planet. It’s spastic stretches of electricity, shattering yr inner cortex and it’s laid out over dance beats and bomping jams that are stretched tight but totally elastic.
The lyrics are ironic or post ironic, or just a mess. And though Moore-Wentworth delivers them with a more contained air, I’m not going to bother deciphering them after just a few listens. Frankly, it’s the pulsations of the meter that make them worth while, and though there is message buried in there I’m sure, I’m too old and have too much to do to extract it out of the cut and paste poetry. Lyricism like this often irritates me, contrived Burroughs flavors, mixed with a Fab Five Freddie delivery or slacker laziness most of the time. And while Want-Wallworth is guilty of the first, his eager expressions set him apart from slack mofo’s of yore that bore me to death (I’m looking at you Beck and Malkumus, right fucking at you, grrrr).
Steal Your Face suffers from truth in advertising, because it’s a maddening good time. I want to hate it, I really do, but it’s too good a record to ignore and it’s totally infectious. Mi Ami has done something spectacular, combining influences with the desire to break free from those same shadows. Steal Your Face is a keeper, even if you have to make up names and words to describe it.
A note on the Amazon Links: After much deliberation I have decided to add monetizing links to Amazon for downloads. I buy all the music that I review (with the exception of the occasional album I am lucky to have gifted to me by a rad friend or label). I will often chose to buy direct from the labels, but as CD prices have increased and record stores close, I find myself driven into the digital download world. I like Amazon a lot. They are easy to use, often cheaper then iTunes, offer great deals on stuff and have a lot of great indie records. Not that much, but I am hoping they will start providing labels and artists more direct to consumer shops like they do for resellers, etc. Well, anyway, if you want to get these records and want to help a struggling writer out, click on the links. I promise I will work on my proof reading (eesh it’s getting bad).