Mew + The Perishers

The Old Firestation - February 2006

A modest and shy four-piece from Sweden, The Perishers’ stage presence can only be described as apologetic. Given this, it’s unsurprising that their sound is as middle of the road and inoffensive as possible. Each song ambles along at a respectable pace, sometimes disappointingly flat, at others expertly tugging on every well-worn melodic heartstring. The drum riffs are flawlessly performed but restricted and dull; the chord sequences pleasant, studied and predictable. The guitar riffs are…you get the picture. Mediocrity saturates the majority of their music but going on the popularity of Keane, Coldplay and Travis, mainstream success may well beckon. Mew, on the other hand, ooze cinematic musical vision right from the frantic opening chords of their first track. As a backdrop to their epic, beautiful, adrenaline-pumped surrealist rock, homemade visuals supply a constant stream of rushing landscapes, fiddle playing cats and nightmarish creatures from the depths. Sadly, the acoustics in the venue are against them. What should be a gripping jangle of conflicting guitar riffs is quickly reduced to a sonic mud, at times forcing the audience to search for the tunes through a fuzz of noise. Jonas, whose soaring and delicate vocals are often pitched against a cacophony of driving guitar distortion, struggles to be heard. The music, however, is solid gold. Exciting, explicitly entertaining and expansive, Mew are determined to push the boundaries of their sound as far as it will go. Each song is a unique, sweeping orchestral landscape of rock deliciousness, resulting in one of the most consistently pleasing live acts around.