Muncie Girls Fixed Ideals

Muncie Girls Fixed Ideals
9
After 2016's From Caplan to Belsize made an enviable splash on both sides of the Atlantic (despite limited push in the U.S.), hype surrounding the latest from Exeter's indie-punk scene-stealers Muncie Girls was considerable. Thankfully, 2018's Fixed Ideals delivers excellently, bettering their debut's blend of memorable hooks and pointed commentary in almost every way.
 
The album grips immediately with opener "Jeremy," a searing attack on parental neglect and bigotry that sounds intensely personal. A devotee of American confessional poet Sylvia Plath (the titles of both their albums derive from her work), vocalist Lande Hekt's vivid and literate lyrics are a caustic treat, mixing the personal and political with an authenticity that is highly appealing.
 
The trio shines instrumentally, as well. Guitarist Dean McMullen adds real colour to Hekt's bass throughout (he gets a rousing lead in album highlight "Fig Tree"), and drummer Luke Ellis remains a master of effortless transition, dropping quick bursts of double-kick adrenaline at the perfect spots. There are more midtempo tracks here than on their debut, and the production is a bit less jagged, but Hekt's lyrics are just as raw and personal, making up for any perceived loss of immediacy. That shouldn't be a problem, anyway — there's an insistency to Fixed Ideals that grabs you and won't let go. (Buzz)