Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites

Bill Cummings 03/08/2005

Rating: 4/5

A few years ago Mew emerged into the light of the UK music scene with the album “Frengers”, a compilation of their previous three albums (only available in Denmark). It gained Mew a reputation as deeply wondrous creators of elegant falsetto-topped indie rock. Their second record to be released in this country, “And The Glass Handed Kites”, is Less an album more fourteen pieces of music that seamlessly flow into each other like soundscapes: tides of glacial guitar noise and melody crash against the rocks of the rhythms. From the gorgeously dark opening instrumental of “Circuitry of the Wolf” that bleeds into the joyous bountiful harmonies of “Chinaberry Tree” it's clear this is an album of immense beauty. First Single “Apocalypso” adds a crisp melodic bite to the album's middle section. Indeed last single “Special” is even better: its insistent rhythm, metallic guitars and a melody that shoots into the night sky. While on "Why Are You Looking Grave" usual lead singer Jonas Bjerre's fey soaring glory is juxtaposed by the deeper delivery of J.Mascis. Elsewhere the haunting balladry of “White Lips Kissed” is a thing of rare preciousness, it reminds me of Mercury Rev in its shuddering wonder as the lyrics pierce your heart (“I don't cry when your silver lining shows”). We need a band like Mew more than ever right now; they sit quite apart from the musical fads that currently drive the music industry, they create a sound of otherworldly beauty, in this year of “art rock” it should not be overlooked.