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Album Review: Fixed Ideals by Muncie Girls

UK indie punk band Muncie Girls release their second album Fixed Ideals on 31st August via Specialist Subject. The title comes from a Sylvia Plath poem, and the line “perfume, politics and fixed ideals”, which ties in with the inspiration for the title of their first album, From Caplan To Belsize, also inspired by Sylvia Plath’s writing and was produced by Muncie Girls’ longterm collaborator Lewis Johns (Funeral For A Friend, Rolo Tomassi, Gnarwolves) at The Ranch and mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge (Death Cab For Cutie, Coldplay, Haim).

The album marks a progression as vocalist and guitarist Lande Hekt played both guitar and bass when they were tracking. She comments “Having two guitars sounds really different and adds intricacy to the songs. I was listening to different music when I wrote these songs and when we recorded them so that probably sounds quite noticeable. Stuff like The Replacements, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Popguns and The Pastels. I think we all became a bit more adventurous with this record.”

Spending more time in the studio this time around enabled Muncie Girls to try new things. “We were at it for so long, I thought it would never end,” Lande says. “I actually got kind of ill half way through, because I think it was just a lot to deal with. We recorded 19 songs and I played bass, guitar, acoustic guitar, keys and sang and harmonised on all the songs as well as coming up with new ideas and extra parts because we hadn’t got everything totally ready. And the songs are the most personal ones I’ve ever written.”

Fixed Ideals picks up where From Caplan To Belsize left off. Earnest, personal lyrics are complemented by an insatiably catchy and immediate indie punk backdrop. Opener ‘Jeremy’ sets the tone for the rest of the album, “’Jeremy’ is obviously a big fuck you to my dad, a right-wing guy who denied my existence and refused to support my mum in any way,” Lande explains, adding that “it should also apply to all people who use patriarchy to aid them in dodging responsibility. But the song is also about my actual family who are awesome.”

Essentially, if you liked the first album you’ll like this. Nothing major has changed and broadly speaking it’s more of the same. Perhaps that’s the album’s biggest flaw (as well as being a strength), if you’ve heard it before some of that punch will be lost. Conversely, if this is your first experience of Muncie Girls you’re in for a treat as there’s all the vitality and impetus of the first album here.

‘Bubble Bath’, ‘Picture of Health’ and ‘Clinic’ are all great songs with ‘Family of Four’ being a great indictment of modern society. Enjoyable and relatable whether you’ve been through it yourself or you see it in society.

AD Rating 7/10

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