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Oh, How The Mighty Has Risen

By Mike Breen · August 17th, 2011 · Spill It

Cincy trio The Mighty celebrates the release of its self-titled debut album Saturday at downtown club Mainstay. The 10 p.m. release party also includes performances by newcomers The Future Strikes and solid rockers A Decade to Die For.

Have you ever reached for a drink at a party and grabbed the wrong one? Even if both are delicious, that instant you sip and the taste doesn’t match what your brain says creates a dizzying, disorienting panic for about 1.7 seconds as you figure out what’s really going on. When I received The Mighty’s debut and eagerly started listening, I literally had to check to see if I had put something different on by accident. From pervious band output and The Mighty’s early days, I prepared for a blast of visceral Power Pop. What I heard was mature, gentle, melancholic Pop songs layered with electronic textures, creative rhythms and slinking vocals.

My mind took a moment to adjust to the reality that The Mighty has become an alluring Indie Pop band that crafts intimate and artfully structured music warm enough to wear as a sweater and uniquely catchy enough to score on radio. Then I dove back in and marveled at the metamorphosis.

Clearly a product of a lot of studio experimenting, The Mighty pulls off the difficult task of turning the beds of Electronica seeds into organic, evocative fields of grace, passion and beauty.

There’s none of the icy disengagement or disposability found in some artists’ technologically driven output.

There are several contemporary artists that work the same roads traveled on The Mighty — fans of The Postal Service, Owl City and other ElectroPop purveyors will find a kindred soul in the band — and hints of earlier acts like Depeche Mode and New Order bubble underneath. But the artist I was constantly reminded of was Peter Gabriel. Besides the vocal phrasing and low-key, soulful rasp of singer/guitarist Josh Purnell, The Mighty’s music is made with the same creatively curious spirit as Gabriel, and the local band’s sonic tapestry occasionally resembles the backdrops of Gabriel’s more moving, emotionally introspective material.

If Gabriel was in his late twenties and beginning his career in today’s music climate, he would probably make something similar to The Mighty’s debut album. And maybe we all could have been spared from “Sledgehammer.” (www.themightyband.com)

Black Tractor Rides Again

Cincy’s mischievous marauders of Metal, Black Tractor, have been keeping a somewhat low profile the past few years, but that’ll all change when the world gets a load of the brand new album, Applaud My Friends — The Comedy Is Over (A Potboiler by Black Tractor). Available now as a download (iTunes, Bandcamp), the record’s physical manifestation will be feted at Bogart’s this Saturday when the Tractor performs with Fair To Midland, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and headliners The Damned Things, a Metal side-project featuring members of Anthrax and Fall Out Boy.

What to expect from the latest Black Tractor masterpiece? In an email, singer Johnny Potatoes reveals Applaud to be a convenient concept album “involving a dead shitty musician from El Paso who channels his masterwork through Black Tractor from the grave.” Besides its use as a storytelling device, the concept also gives the band a quick out.

“This way if people say this album sucks,” Potatoes says, “we can say it is not our fault.” (blacktractor.bandcamp.com)


CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com


 
 
 
 

 

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