Miaoux Miaoux – School of Velocity [Chemikal Underground]

Miaoux Miaoux’s second album Escape Velocity is an electropop record, with a heavy nod towards the futuristic sounds of the 80s and a split personality; half disco pop, half experimental.

Opener ‘Launch Loop’ nods its head toward Hot Chip, with Julian Corrie’s voice almost close enough to fool voice recognition algorithms.

Arpeggiated staccato ‘Star Sickness’ and ‘Luxury Discovery’ both have a disco feel, but whilst Corrie’s voice is nice enough, it doesn’t quite have enough power to force either track to be a solid pop classic, nor do the lyrics grab you enough to make you stop and think.

Title track ‘School of Velocity’ is more experimental than the previous tracks, taking an age to build and sounding like Discovery-era Daft Punk and is the stand out track of the album.

There’s a big division between the two sides of the LP, with very pop oriented riffs and lyrics mostly contained in the first half, leaving the more interesting stuff for the latter half.

A quite desired change of tempo happens by the time we get to ‘Giga Shrug’, switching down to imitate early Prince, but then cranking up the techno for ‘It’s The Quick’, before swapping the 4/4 for break beats and stabby synths of ‘Peaks Beyond Peaks’.

It’s all about the treble and takes until penultimate track, ‘Unbeatable Slow Machine’. until the bass gets pushed to the forefront of the mix, whereas ‘Mostly Love Now’ has a middle 16 that is a perfectly executed synthesized interpretation of a hair metal riff from 1987.

Trying to become more of a flash in the pan than the formerly legal high with whom Miaoux Miaoux shares a name is a difficult task, and being a multi-instrumentalist, writer and singer may stretch the skills a little thin and leave the sound feeling likewise.

A solid groove bassist could expand this sound nicely, as would lyrics with a little more punch, but overall it manages to carve out its own sound without ever trying to rewrite the rulebook.

Words: Stevie Williams

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