Like so many bands, British trio MiXE1 has teased and taunted rich attention with a host of ear grabbing encounters but have yet to fully ignite the sparks set through those imaginative success deserving releases. It is easy though to suggest and expect that break through with the band’s new album Reflections; a collection of striking tracks combining to create their finest most striking moment yet.
From a solo project created in 2010 by Mike Evans (Vocals, Synths), MiXE1 has grown into a formidable creative proposition with the addition of Lee Towson (Guitars, Live Bass, Synths, Vocals) and Lee O’Brien (Drums, Synths, Samples). Similarly their sound has evolved and blossomed across EPs and a well-received debut album as electronic adventure has increasingly aligned with alternative and rapacious rock tenacity. As Reflections shows, it is music and imagination which continues to explore and discover greater depths; the new album embracing a broader canvas of sound as the snarl of metal, boisterousness of pop, and epic rock enterprise all collude with the band’s already established creative instincts.
With the release also seeing the band joined by a host of guests across its increasingly magnetic body, Reflections opens up with its title track, the song looming in from an instantly busy distance on a tide of synth and guitar to swiftly establish an inescapably tempestuous and gripping lure. Evans’ vocal roar carries a similarly ferocious edge, attitude still lining the melodic prowess which soon springs from his throat amidst the compelling storm. With hungry hooks and fiery melodies igniting the multi-flavoured and easily devoured trespass, the song continued to nag, enthral, and incite.
The following Get Out Alive rises with a similar recipe of flavours but quickly sets out its individual character woven on melody, aggression, and eager imagination. As its predecessor, its infectious breath and moves are at odds with but the perfect companion to raw ferocity; again a union which attacks and seduces within a stirring tapestry of sound and texture.
Though released a couple of years back, Don’t Break Apart could be described as the lead single of the album and has lost none of its potency over time. In many ways the moment the band’s sound marked its latest evolution with its earlier release, its potential has been fully realised across the album and still fires up the appetite as it builds on its pulsating electronic start to cast sonic virulence upon the senses. Gentle caresses lead to inflamed eruptions and compelling melodic intimation builds to dark and rapacious incitement, the track pure magnetic and intimate drama only elevated by the additional contributions of Lawrie Bayldon (Studio-X) on synths and Erlend Eilertsen (Essence of Mind) alongside Richard K (Machine Rox) on vocals.
The rousing Spectrum is next up, immediately casting a melodic web with metallic strands around a robust rhythmic canter, the track a voracious mix of pop catchiness and electro shadows all toned with flirtatious temptation while successor, the equally irresistible Align revels in vociferous industrial instincts to create its very own contagious incitement. There is a great irritable edge to the electro rock based outing, antagonism soaked in melodic tempting reminding of former UK band Ghost In The Static.
From a dystopian atmosphere Nexus steps forward next, the track another with an industrial rock breeding embracing and employing a wealth of electro and rock strands to cast its magnetic web. Rabbit Junk’s JP Anderson joins Evans on vocals, his raw antipathy a tantalising companion to the more flirtatious harmonic tones of MiXE1’s frontman. Yet again ears were gripped and vocal chords incited with Fall straight after thrusting its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll upon the senses to similarly take control of body and attention with increasing rewards if ultimately only teasing the heights of the previous tracks. Still though, it just captivated before Monochrome with Roman Marisak (Professional Murder Music, Spacetime) guesting on vocals provides the darkest and most corrosive moments of the release whilst forging another of the album’s striking propositions in sound and enterprise revealing richer depths by the listen.
Yet one more major highlight comes with next up Creations, the song casting an atmospheric suggestiveness from which emotive and melodic imagination blossom their radiance. At its volatile heart is the vocal coupling of Evans and Natasha Cox (Mankind Is Obsolete, AL1CE, Alice Underground), both pure enticement and the latter simply mesmeric within a climate which simmers, seduces, and subsequently erupts with physical and emotional turbulence.
The final pair of Authors and Quasar ensure the album’s close is as stirring and impressive as what came before; the first an eager slice of electro rock as anthemically infectious as it is intimately heart bred while the latter takes the listener across an ethereal landscape before taking a spatial flight enriched with celestial harmonics and spirit raising dynamics. It is a glorious and imaginative finale exposing yet another aspect in the creative kaleidoscope of MiXE1.
The Hertfordshire band has never been a stranger to providing striking and seriously enjoyable encounters but Reflections simply eclipses all that has come before so surely the time is ripe for MiXE1 to be embroiled in the attention and success their music if not before now definitely deserves.
Reflections is out August 9th with pre-ordering available now @ https://mixe1.bandcamp.com/album/reflections
Pete RingMaster 23/07/2019
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