MIEN is sorta a super-group. And admittedly what will draw listeners to this is the fact that the members are from other bands: Alex Maas from The Black Angels; Tom Furse from The Horrors; Rishi Dhir from Elephant Stone; and John-Mark Lapham from The Earlies. However, and most importantly, there's really compelling music on the self-titled debut from MIEN, and one's enjoyment of this music doesn't depend on a working knowledge of any of those other bands.
If some of this, like "You Dreamt" and "Earth Moon" recalls "Swastika Eyes"-era Primal Scream with ease, the more troubling and invigorating "(I'm Tired Of) Western Shouting" suggests a lifetime spent absorbing Can and Cabaret Voltaire records. The supple and insinuating "Ropes" and "Other" are down-tempo purrs of electronica, throwbacks to an age when more artists were attempting to map out territory like this. Elsewhere, the more driving "Ropes" and the spry "Odessey" seem to owe debts to early New Order and Echo and the Bunnymen, the bright surfaces of the latter song being particularly inviting.
There's a lot here in the grooves of this MIEN record that you may have heard in bits and pieces elsewhere -- swatches of MGMT here, a blast of Chemical Brothers over there -- but the way the pieces were assembled on this release renders MIEN a largely compelling listen.
MIEN by MIEN is out on Friday. More details via the link below. And more details on MIEN via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional image]