The Soundtrack of Our Lives
It's not uncommon for bands to just drop off the radar. What is uncommon is that such a band ever manages to resurface. But then again Miocene aren't just any band.
Having first made some noise on the cusp of the 21st century, for a fleeting moment everything seemed to be in their favour. A debut EP suddenly catapulted these relative unknowns on tour supporting The Lost Prophets, Hundred Reasons and One Minute Silence. That's a diverse bunch of artists you might be thinking, but then Miocene are making diverse music. Great sweeping metal riffs, filtered thorough distorted punk vocals, hip-hop beats, even some drum 'n' bass and then topped off with lush industrial moments and sumptuous programming.
Their second EP was criticised for concentrating more on the electronica side of things which I presume upset more than a big chunk of their demographic. That's when Miocene did their disappearing act. Who knows what happened? The rumours as to their whereabouts were abundant. But what really matters is that their debut album has arrived. Granted, it may be 5 years late, I'm just not sure that it would have been quite so perfectly articulated had it arrived a moment sooner.
I don't really think I've stumbled across such a beautifully crafted album since Tool's Aenima. In fact 'A Perfect Life With a View of the Swamp' marries the blend of rock and electronica that Miocene have always had, then nods in homage to some of the most sublime programmers of our times. There's 'Pop Will Eat Itself', the aforementioned Tool, Goldie, The Prodigy and a healthy dose of Nine Inch Nails. Honestly, I get the impression that if this was his debut album, Trent Reznor would be as happy as a pig in shit!
This is an album to take you on a journey. To be listened to as a whole. Parts of this were as dreamlike and awe inspiring as it must have been when Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon or Todd Rundgren released Wizard.
Here is an album that makes you wanna dance, having some of the most kicking beats thrown against a backdrop of dark, angsty scapes and glitches...yes glitches...these boys really know their stuff. What a pleasure it is to hear granular synthesis in a commercial group and not some esoteric arthouse band for the Britart clique.
I sat and listened to this in reverential wonder....rarely these days does a bands music take my breath away. Bold, ambitious and quite challenging to listen to...Miocene have executed it like precision engineers. Just too perfect.