The road has been fraught with turns for Denton, Texas’ most famous export, Midlake, and on their newest album, Antiphon, the band treks past their previous efforts, driving deeper into the darkened woods. For most bands, the loss of the primary singer-songwriter would signal an indefinite folding of the tent. Yet in the case of Midlake, a band so reliant upon garrulous storytelling, lead guitarist-turned-front man, Eric Pulido has not just bore the burden; he has lightened it.
Lead single, “Antiphon” kicks off the ten song stretch with driving beats, back of the room organs and hypnotizing melodies, and that pretty much tells the tale for most of the record. Elusive and captivating, the tracks bend lyrically around Thesaurus-required lyrics and progressive instrumentation, leaving one both mesmerized and intrigued.
The other half of this record is made of quiet nuances, and dusty refrains, pushing the band out of their newly progressive tendencies, and into more folk-oriented regions, which is actually how the band made their original stake. But, be it bold, or discreet, Antiphon delivers on the heady and the frank with electrifying precision.