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Steal Your Face

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Album Review

Taking the title from the Grateful Dead’s album with a shredded version of Jerry Garcia's iconic mug on the back and Bob Marley's on the front, Steal Your Face finds Mi Ami continuing to desecrate the face of traditional music. Picking up where they left off with Watersports (and the limited-edition 12” single Cut Men), their sophomore full-length is a steady driving sonic stew of lacerated guitars, twisted basslines, constantly shifting drum patterns, and yelping crescendos. Fairly consistent with their other material, if anything, the songs have become more stylized and refined. Repeat producer Paul Manley fills in some blank spots, splashing analog on-board effects over the rhythm work to ramp “Latin Lover” into a dubbed-out laser duel and muck up “Slow” with a shiny sheen of distortion. Aside from these subtle touches, it’s a very live-sounding record. Steal Your Face was finished in under a week, with minimal overdubs, and this quick-and-dirty recording style perfectly suits the group's haphazard nature. Continuing in the spirit of the album cover, several tracks pay tribute to pop artists through mutilation. Lyrics from Tom Tom Club’s biggest hit, "Genius of Love," Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” and Springsteen's “Born in the U.S.A.” crop up in Daniel Martin-McCormick’s screeches, but are practically indistinguishable in the midst of the free-formish, roundabout ruckus. Per usual, the music is skewed and exhausting (in the best way imaginable), and the rhythmic interplay between bassist Jacob Long and drummer Damon Palermo is fantastic.

Biography

Formed: San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

San Francisco's "drum punk" trio Mi Ami feature guitarist/vocalist Daniel Martin-McCormick, bassist Jacob Long, and drummer Damon Palermo. Martin-McCormick and Long came from Dischord's kinetic, percussive group Black Eyes, who disbanded in 2004; the two wanted to take their music in a freer direction, and played together briefly as the free jazz-inspired duo White Flight. Long moved to California and Martin-McCormick followed, studying classical guitar at San Francisco State University. They connected...
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Steal Your Face, Mi Ami
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