The M’s – Real Close Ones

Band: The M’s
Album: Real Close Ones
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Label: Polyvinyl

1. Big Sound
2. Breakfast Score
3. Pigs Fly
4. Don’t Be Late
5. Papers
6. Get Your Sh*t Together
7. Ultraviolent Men
8. Naked
9. Impossible View
10. Bros in Arms
11. Tryin To Keep
12. Days in The Sun
13. How Could You

The opening track on Real Close Ones by The Ms is titled, “Big Sound” and it is just that. I admit the song and album were the first I’d heard, so I did not know what to expect from the Chicago based band. It immediately made me think of what it would sound like if you were playing an Of Montreal and The Beatles album at the same time – there are lots of instruments to be appreciated here- piano, horns, and distortion, but without any restrain. It seems that The Ms are trying to catch your attention, but “Big Sound” deceives as I enjoy the tracks to follow much more. Songs like “Breakfast Score” have a dreamy, organic feel with handclaps and a whistle solo that seem to capture what a band like Broken Social Scene or early Modest Mouse perfected – messy, groovy, psychedelic rock. The track builds up and draws you in – the instrumental dynamics tease and peak at all the right moments. The song “Papers” is my favorite, as the band experiments with synth and guitar with a long instrumental break and crunchy distortion.

The overall feel of the album is not cohesive in that you are able to tune out a song like the droning “Don’t Be Late” but are jostled to attention with “Get Your Sh*t Together” which vocally, has a grating, Of Montreal quality. “Pigs Fly” is another track that has your attention with a 90’s pop-alternative affect, but I like it immediately. It seems the song writing style of The Ms is to either keep the same rhythm and structure throughout a whole song or to have no structure at all. The song “Impossible View” accomplishes the nostalgic ascetic that I think The Ms were trying to convey throughout the tracks.

As it is their third album, I understand that The Ms were experimenting with a new sound and attempting to refine themselves. For the most part, I liked what I heard and there is a reason they have been compared to the Flaming Lips, Dr. Dog and The Beatles. My collective analysis of the album is that it is disjointed, but beautiful. The band evokes emotion and gets my head bobbing, so that is really all that matters.

*Written By: Biily Table*
GRADE: 7.5/10

James Shotwell
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