The Microphones have been largely overlooked by the college-indie-rock station I listen to, and it's not too hard to see why. Even in the indie culture, there is a sense of convention and a way that songs should be composed. The Microphones and convention: a sibling rivalry molded from both love and hate. The love between the two can be found peppered throughout the 11 song long player, as we here typical indie chord progressions, super fuzzy distorted guitar dripping sweet melodies, flat singing. But it doesn't take long for the dichotomy to become apparent as each song twists itself from indie pop into an experimental musical balloon animal. The Microphones buck this indie convention unapologetically and luckily, it works.
Notably, most every song on It Was Hot We Stayed In The Water comes across as two distinctly different pieces of music. The opening number, "The Pull," starts as a soft acoustic tune before hitting you with a barrage of drums. "Ice" begins as a great pop song and after the second verse drops into a mixture of slow guitar and vibes. "The Glow" is a wave of harmony vocals, then slips into a composition that sounds like it was written on a ukulele then becomes a happy go lucky melody controlled by abstract noise. Unlike most albums, you have to listen to every song the whole way through before you know what it sounds like.
Needless to say, this isn't an ordinary album. Yet the tunes here aren't harsh, disruptive (with the exception of "Drums," which as you may have guessed is an assault of rhythm), or obnoxious. Amid the chaos, this disc comes across as orderly and defined. The dramatic shifts mid-song are more curious than they are alarming.
Who's to say why this album hasn't been getting airplay on my local indie station. It's a shame though, because the target indie audience would fall in love the Microphones. They could easily be the Flaming Lips for the drone rock set.
- The Pull
- Sand (Eric's Trip)
- The Glow
- Karl Blau
- The Gleam
- The Breeze
- Between Your Ear and the Other Ear