I’ve been a fan of Mew since 2003′s fantastic Frengers and I seemed to be one of the few people who really loved 2005′s proggy, bombastic …And The Glass Handed Kites. So I guess it’s no surprise that I am also currently really loving their new record, No More Stories… (I refuse to type out the entire Fiona Apple-esque long title).
No More Stories… is a bit more focused than the band have been since 2003; while Kites is a great record, No More Stories just seems to hang together better as a cohesive statement. This is not to say the band have chucked in their ambitiousness (their music certainly remains totally unhinged at times) but they seem to have perfected a way to make the bombast work with more introspective moments.
No More Stories… does start with the bombast, however. The fierce opening quartet includes Introducing Palace Players, a guitar-heavy, angular song that might actually be one of Mew’s catchiest pieces yet. I have a very, very hard time resisting the urge to air-guitar along to this one and looking like a total douche. Repeaterbeater is another one of the album’s more upbeat songs and it features a beautiful soaring chorus which Mew have practically trademarked.
The record then lulls a bit (not in a bad way) with more piano-based songs that, although a bit mellower than the albums opening quartet, still manage to take all the unexpected twists and turns that Mew are known (and often derided) for. The record closes with the penultimate Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy, a song that is nearly an album unto itself, and Reprise which ends in a gentle wash of synths and keyboards. In like a lion, out like a lamb.
No More Stories… likely won’t convert anyone who has previously disliked Mew. But I do think it shows a band that is maturing and improving while still holding on to the aspects of their music that first drew me to them way back in 2003. But come on guys, let’s work on those album covers.
Watch: Introducing Palace Players
The band have just announced a North American tour which includes a stop here in Vancouver on December 11 at Venue. Tickets are on sale now at the usual places. I’ve never seen the band live before so I am really looking forward to this.