Artist; MISS DEMEANOR
Review by: Balzy
Livid was released on Nov. 14, 2014 by Chicago band Miss Demeanor. The minute it came out I gave it a listen and after we had arranged a review I had consistently felt regret for two weeks not having been able to produce a review of the record. Terrible timing in my life and another thing after another on the desk I found I just couldn’t produce the words that this record deserved.
Almost a month later, I am absolutely glad I waited to write about Livid. This is a record that unfolds over time. On my car speakers the bass, the rhythmic foundations, vibrate the walls of my car and make the streetlights passing me by move in sync with the heavy grooves, sporadically separating them from the higher registers of the songs letting me really focus on the complexity that resides within this piece of art. My headphones reveal the guitars, angular and elaborate. Each song lending itself to the appearance of a pyramid; blocks upon Blocks of different ideas,time, argument, decisions.
From the chorus of Feeble-Minded Toe Frog, to the intro of Sore, to the heaviest thrashings of Bill Murray, the catalog of alternative music from the 1990’s is dabbled in and re-investigated through the lens of contemporary musicians. Obviously the influences of Miss Demeanor stretch much beyond the music of their very early childhood. It is my best guess that this is what gives Livid that unidentifiable quality that good art possesses. Livid provides a much wider ranging sonic experience than most of the records from the 1990’s themselves because of their ability to combine their experience of that era’s music with so many other era’s as well.
As with most of the records of the 1990’s much of Livid is centered around the guitar, and for those who enjoy the noise and capabilities of the guitar the jams that Miss Demeanor is able to produce will be an enjoyable experience. The whole record is spattered with noise and sonic refuse giving those of us who live for the harshest aspects of the divergent forms of rock and roll like noise rock, shoegaze and grunge many opportunities to hit our steering wheels in excitement for what we hear.
What we don’t hear though is one of the aspects that made me happy about the delayed review; the lyrics. Because of the sheer volume and aggression of the record, which I do want to point out has its own moments of subtlety and tranquility, many of the lyrics are hidden. Hidden are words that are as powerful as the guitars which shred into your ears, but upon each exploration in a new place, a new line or meaning is given to the listener who is able to slowly decode the emotional and intellectual puzzle that Miss Demeanor has carefully laid out.
This is a wonderful record by very nice local musicians who are exploring rock and roll in one of the most interesting ways I have experienced in recent times. Please support them by purchasing a record that I can absolutely say deserves at least one full listen from everyone in this two-bit-town.
The record can be found here; http://missdemeanor.bandcamp.com/