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Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 17 / 7 / 2006

Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Middle-of-the-road and often dated-sounding second album from Texan-based rockers, Midlake

'The Trials of Van Occupanther' is the second album from Midlake. All the songs on it are narrative based and very much locked into the 1970's. 'Roscoe' opens the album, and, now out as a single, is very middle of the road 70's rock. It has a friendly vocal from singer Tim Smith and great all over playing, which instantly remind you of flared shirts and trousers and carefree days. 'Bandits' is more in the style of early Mojave 3 or Nick Drake, with a vocal from Tim that is very early 60's folk in its delivery. The whole song is very badly dated in a retro way. 'Head Home' sounds like ELO, while 'Van Occupanther' is laid back and very mellow and sounds like a film soundtrack but with added words. 'Young Bride' is acoustic guitar and violin based to start with, but as it progresses it just gets mussy with heavier grooves, while 'Branches' is moody and based around piano and sounds like a strange combination of Radiohead and again middle of the road rock. 'In This Camp' again sounds badly dated and like it has escaped from the soundtrack to the 1973 film 'The Wicker Man', before it gets into a groove and becomes louder. 'We Gathered in Spring' is like a bigger sounding Nick Drake. It covers the hillside is again 70's inspired rock with an Eagles like guitar solo. 'Chasing After Deer' is acoustic based and singer/songwriter material. 'You Never Arrived' closes this set, and is again 70's rock, but very mellow. It is well played, but on the whole it is simply pleasant background music which is good to chill out to, rather than rock and roll.

Track Listing:-
1 Acts of Man
2 Winter Dies
3 Small Mountain
4 Core of Nature
5 Fortune
6 Rulers, Ruling All Things
7 Children of the Grounds
8 Bring Down
9 The Horn
10 The Courage of Others
11 In the Ground

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