Leeds Music Scene

Apocalypso by Mew

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Reviewed on 27th July 2005.



By Mew

I wasn't going to write about this single; I was going to just sit quietly and indulge in its creamy, glacial atmosphere like one might with, say, a Magnum or a (po) Calypso (har har! Geddit? Oh, come on...) But I've already done all the sitting and indulging I'm capable of and, being as I have nothing to do tonight except sulk about not being able to go out, then I may as well put a pen to paper and blabber on a bit before tea.

Never ones to structure their songs simply when severe mathematical formulae and algebraic equations could instead be used, Mew crash and burn their way through the genetically-haywire hybrid of volleying guitars, Jonas Bjerre's voice echoing through gauntlets of Saturn's rings, spiralling down from the inkwell of interplanetary sky into Narnia's deepest ice chambers and vacuous caverns like a derailed spirit. Oceanic drums hulk through the glimmering, navy-blue undercurrents like ancient whales, whilst shoals of flittering, silvery, streamlined fish shoot to the surfaces through acres of sea like glittering fireworks in the form of quick blasts on the synth. Laser beams of alien sounds garble in the background and semi-tonal glockenspiels wrap veils of mist and swathes of Northern Lights around the intricacies before the iceberg-sized chorus slams in with the power of a polar bear's vicious swipe.

The first time I saw Mew, I was fifteen. I stood on tiptoes behind a rack of videos in Tower Records, peering over the top shelf to catch a glimpse of whoever-that-could-be-with-the-most-unreal-voice-I'd-ever-heard standing all meek and angel-haired in the corner of the store, allowing the soaring lines of 'She Came Home For Christmas' to spin out of his mouth and cast their entrancing web over a bunch of spellbound Londoners on their way home from work. Suddenly jolted out of their mundane bogs, they slid down a jewelled chute onto downy white cushions stuffed with feathery Scandinavian dreams and creations. Three years ago, this miraculous sound seemed surreal, otherworldly, secret, expansive, magical; even beautifully disturbing. It was as though, underneath Piccadilly Circus, I'd stumbled upon a tiny hub of wide-eyed people frozen in time. Today, Mew still sound just as wonderfully improbable and unbelievable but, if possible, even more terrifyingly perfect.

And that's all from the five-star rating for a few weeks; this is just getting silly now.



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