Review: Muncie Girls- From Caplan to Belsize (Specialist Subject)

Posted: May 22, 2016 in Reviews

From Caplan to Belsize cover art

After a string of 7” and EPs and the like (including the awesome split 12” with the Great Cynics), Muncie Girls finally release their debut full-length. It is long-awaited and while I found their previously released stuff spotty (although with huge highs like “The Real You”), From Caplan to Belsize is consistently very, very good. Combining wonderfully uplifting melodies with punk-influenced grit and social awareness. There is a certain influence from indie rock here (I hear some Joy Division on “Social Side”), but this is also definitely a pop-punk album. It is high on the surface, but pretty low when you dig deeper.

There is a personal, almost conversational tone to the lyrics, which is refreshing, but they also touch on socio-political issues important to them: from political engagement (“Learn in School”), and misogyny (“Respect”) to feminism (“Committee”). I think, however, they are at the best, socio-political wise, with the closing track “No Recording”, where they manage to expose something of themselves personally, while simultaneously being politically engaged: “Is it normal to feel this tired at work? Or wake up crying about the state of the world?/ On a good day I’ll learn something new, but mostly I just crave the truth.”

With the intelligence and sincerity of the lyrics, alongside the soaring melodies and catchy, female-led vocals, The Muncie Girls kind of remind me of New Jersey’s The Measure (SA), a band whom I have always felt were dearly underrated. Perhaps, on the side of the pond, you could put The Muncie Girls in the same bracket as, say, Doe or Shit Present. You may the album a little overly-sincere at first and hard to digest, but give it time, and you will ‘get it’. If you are on the fence about this band, I would recommend listening to “Social Side”, and that should set you straight. There are enough woah-ohs and hooks here to please fans across the pop-punk spectrum.

Check it out here: http://specialistsubject.bandcamp.com/album/from-caplan-to-belsize

DB

 

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