The Mixups – So Far EP
aaamusic | On 30, Apr 2012
So Far is a very likeable, if unspectacular new EP from The Mixups. For the most part, it is light-hearted indie guitar music, similar to that of so many bands in their infancy but showing signs of promise for the future. The songs are catchy and well-realised, but more a collection of musical moments than well-developed, intricately structured works.
Take Same Mistakes for example. The verse is pleasant enough; the chorus equally so. Could they be bits of different songs just put together, linked only by a happy-go-lucky mood? Yes, as the riffs, harmonies and melodies aren’t developed or unified from verse to chorus. The contrasting middle section is similarly unrelated; nethertheless, it is still the most enjoyable bit of the song. There’s then another nice new idea for the song’s climax. All in all, it’s a very listenable and cheery piece of work, but typically disjointed in the manner of early attempts at songwriting.
An equally jolly honky-tonk vibe is created for Your Side, which is clearly channelling early Beatles but suffers from different mistakes to Same Mistakes. This time it’s too repetitive – the song’s constructed from one idea, but this isn’t developed enough. There are the same two chords all the way through, and no contrasting moments or sections. It’s all very enjoyable regardless thanks to the inventive ways the band have of keeping things interesting; they add contrasting parts, spoken interjections and charming textural effects, but these can only go some way in compensating for the overly basic songwriting.
Double or Quits is better, sounding a bit like one of the Arctic Monkey’s softer numbers (I’m thinking Fluorescent Adolescent and Cornerstone) or even like a less rowdy Libertines track, but more formulaic than that might suggest. However, there is some great guitar work on it and the lyrics continue in the same unpretentious vein as those of the previous two songs.
There is a very welcome change of mood for The Coral-like Where You Belong – it’s a darker, more folk-like song in a minor key, with spaghetti western tinged guitar riffs, excellent use of contrasting textures, some psychedelic inflexions in the middle section, and typically catchy melodies and riffs throughout. Like the rest of the EP, it’s very enjoyable stuff if a bit fragmented, but nethertheless displays great potential for the band’s future.