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Boxing Twilight

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Album Review

Picture an astronaut conducting and/or producing a rock band, and it may very well come out sounding like the Midstates. This Chicago-based sextet specializes in spacey, symphonic rock, which they create by mixing "vintage and analog instruments with modern digital processing and effects." An obvious influence is the Flaming Lips, but the Midstates prove to be less quirky than Wayne Coyne and company, as they focus more on the songwriting aspect of things. The group's debut release, 2003's Shadowing Ghosts, received some glowing reviews (including renowned music writer's Jim DeRogatis), and the group definitely avoid the sophomore jinx on their 2006 followup, Boxing Twilight. Like most of the better space rock bands that came before them, the Midstates recognize the importance of when not to play, as evidenced by the minimalist openings of both "Us Explode," "Decision at Dusk," and "Favorite Television Show." But it's not all shoegazing here, folks, as evidenced by the jarring album opener, "Till Dead" (which features possibly the first-ever use of harmonica on a space rock song) and the Air-ish Moog synth work of "Issues Today." Disposable rock music crazes may come and go, but it seems like space rock will always have an audience, as groups like the Midstates lead the charge in the early 21st century.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Midstates is the subsequent project name from members of Novasonic Down Hyper Space, who released two records and played shows with Stratford 4, Windy & Carl, Aspera, and Flowchart. Following several lineup shifts, founding members Paul Heintz and Steve Munoz were joined by bassist Adam Province, drummer Dan Chambers, guitarist Michael Dahlman,...
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Boxing Twilight, Midstates
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