Miracles of Modern Science is the Brooklyn-based quintet which since 2005 has been making indie-pop with a twist: they use baroque-style instrumentation; the results sounding something like Tokyo Police Club backed with strings and mandolin.
MEEMS is their first release since 2011’s debut album Dog Year, and the band’s sound has not greatly changed since then; the taut, dance-y drums of ‘Dear Pressure’ and lead single ‘Singularity’ still drive along the band’s bright, emotive sounding indie. The former in particular is a fantastic use of their classical influences and a delight on first listen. These are the high points however, as MEEMS provides an enticing glimpse into what Miracles of Modern Science can do but feels overall somewhat lightweight.
Opener ‘Ahem’ promises much, with an enchanting, stripped back beginning leading to a crashing build-up and energetic, stop-start groove. Sadly though, after less than two minutes, the song stutters and ends without much consequence. Similarly, after instrumental closer
‘Physics is Our Business’, you’re left feeling that more could have been made of what is almost a very good indie rock song with a baroque twist. The band successfully avoids their style being labelled a gimmick here, and promises much, yet doesn’t always deliver the songs to win hearts.
The EP ends with a sampled, fervent voice: “A lesson to be learnt: experiments never fail”. Perhaps not, but there is a lingering feeling that the band should have done more with the results of their experimentation.
Words: Jake Maiden