Mimico's follow-up to their 2013 self-titled cassette LP got pushed back from its originally scheduled January drop a couple of times, but Incantations proves more than worth the wait. While they still ply their trade in dizzyingly psychedelic synthesizer-laden post-punk, Incantations finds them setting things in motion and tightening up their sound to create more groove enchanted synth rock where their debut found them crafting expansive atmospheric soundscapes. From the revved-up click tracks on album singles "Cloud City" and "Fate Screen" to the long-held guitar god chords that close the record on the triumphant almost title track "Incantation," this is a mystical record that employs repetition and patterns to hypnotic effect.
That's not to suggest Mimico have wholly abandoned their ambient leanings (see "Breakers"), but the group do seem concentrated on introducing more directly engaging, stimulating elements into their repertoire. Drummer Nick Kervin's endeavours on bass provide a propulsive new element to Mimico's midnight highway sound, and while Benjamin Oginz (synths) previously provided the band's sole voice with his background drifting plainsongs, on Incantations, he splits that responsibility with Jeremiah Knight (guitar), whose slurry, trippy vocals are markedly more pronounced, and — especially on dark, persuasive lines like "Sing to the sea / Take in her tide" ("Pastures") and when swearing to colour outside the lines of every corner he's painted into ("Big Sister") — pack a previously alien snarl into Mimico's recordings.
Mimico are as likely to have their heads in the stars as they are to be peering deeply inward, and their new album is more than a document of their sonic meditations; it's an extension of those realizations to their listeners. Incantations is a collection of spells and wizardry that encourages listeners to spin around in circles with arms outstretched, submitting to a higher weirdness and the discovery that's afforded from taking chances. (Reel Cod)
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