Midstates Boxing Twilight

Midstates have managed to succeed in a rather awkward task, which is to sound a lot like many of their colleagues in American indie rock (Death Cab For Cutie and Grandaddy most immediately) without being mere copyists. They can pour on the production with grand psychedelic pop reminiscent of the Flaming Lips, crank up the volume with more straight ahead indie, and then twee things down. It’s an impressive mix. Midstates mastermind Paul Heintz has shuffled members for a while, but his current line-up seem to have really nailed the sound that wraps nicely around his anthemic pop songs. The layered production is slick, but not over the top, and works especially well on "Till Dead” and "Passed for Promotion,” which cries out for attention. On the other hand, "Us Explode” and "Destroy Them Anyway” take their time, building on delicate beginnings and growing into full-blown anthems by the end. Boxing Twilight is somehow strangely familiar, yet full of surprises and hidden rewards. (Mental Monkey)