Words by Dennis Ruhlin

Losing a front-man usually means the death of a band. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Midlake. The band’s original front man Tim Smith left sometime last year, to which Midlake responded by promoting current guitarist Eric Pulido to lead vocals, and they really scored. Pulido delivers a vocal performance that fits Midlake’s sound without trying to duplicate what they lost.

Antiphon starts off strong, and keeps with you through the entire piece. The title track sets us up with a more progressive sound than what we’re used to. Jump to either of the next two excellent tracks, ‘Provider’ or ‘The Old And The Young’, and treat yourself to a delightful combination of the airy and lofty Midlake of the past, with a slightly more modern and determined approach.

Honestly, it’s not readily apparent that they made a big change in their lineup. Parts of the album, such as ‘Vale’, ‘Aurora Gone’, and ‘Provider Reprise’ are exactly what you would expect to hear from them. These tracks are earthy, folky, and fragile. They’re Midlake through and through.

Make no doubt, Antiphon is a departure from their uber-moody tracks of the past, but it still delivers along the lines of what you’re hoping for. People always say “their old stuff was better” about bands, and in this case, I agree. You’re going to find this album is accessible to most people, and when faced with the options of ‘no more band’ or a more approachable album, I’ll take the latter.

Despite losing their foundation, Midlake never crumbled.

ATO Records
© November 5th, 2013



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