Midatlantic

The Longest Silence

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Midatlantic start The Longest Silence sounding like the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" before hitting an arrangement that is as bright, anthemic, and post-punk as one could want, especially with the guitars and singing. It's not quite the Chameleons but there's a definite sense of that brand of power at work throughout The Longest Silence, not to mention the more recent bands in that vein -- if Interpol and Bloc Party cast a shadow here, it's almost because their successful revival of those sounds has become that inescapable, and songs like "Too Little Too Late" are more demonstrations of the form rather than some radical reinvention of it. But Midatlantic have good touches amid the recombinations at work, whether it's the crisp, near glitch punch underpinning "You Just Don't Understand" or the Depeche Mode circa Songs of Faith and Devotion electro-rock clatter of "On & On." Perhaps their most distinct asset is Mike Coen's voice which, while laden with the bravura one might expect given the material, has a controlled edge to his vocal soaring that suggests '90s Swedish indie pop more than another disciple of Bono. When the band exchanges wired drive for more steady-as-she-goes balladeering -- perhaps inevitably the first example, "Love (Will Rule Your Heart Again)," comes complete with strings -- the results are far less compelling, with only Coen's clean singing standing out.

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