Mimi Secue - s/t [Karate Joe - 2002]Mimi Secue is a fairly new (and probably young aged) band from Austria. By reading the biography it becomes clear that this band is a great admirer of the Constellation artist-roster, also considering the attitude towards the music business and industries like that.
The surprise factor is herby eliminated, but since most of the Constellation bands such as A Silver Mt. Zion and Godspeed You! Black Emperor are among my own favourites, I decided to give the self-titled album of Mimi Secue a try.
More different instruments than used by the average rock band shine trough the sound package on this disc, but it's still based around slowly moving acoustic guitars and occasional drums, plus some background instruments such as a piano and cello. The atmosphere stays calm and soft throughout the whole album, but by using different instruments in each song the variation is quite there. The relaxing, monumental and melancholic music is perfectly to fall asleep to on the couch on a boring Sunday afternoon...
The previous paragraph is meant to be misleading, so if you ran to the store already before finishing reading this entire review, you might be disappointed. That's because the actual instrument that is most prominent on this release is the voice. And it's not too good. Maybe not because it's lacking atmosphere – it doesn't – but the quality and the (false) tones used spoil quite a big part of the entire listening experience. There are two different vocal lines used, one high and one even higher pitched, and they accompany each other well, and the timing is quite good too (read: not singing all the time). But the band definitely needs a new vocalist. Removing the vocal-factor would not do good considering originality and boredom, but there's room for improvement.
In view of the sound Mimi Secue can learn a lot from the Constellation bands with their polished and clear productions, which always manage to maintain a "full" sound picture with a minimal musical approach. Here it feels quite empty at certain places. Nevertheless it is not as bad as it seems. It does produce the cinematic soundscapes and atmospheres the band is aiming for, and apart from the vocals this disc is nowhere near irritating. Besides, taking the fact that this is a young band with perhaps not much experience, we could expect something better in the future. And again, this is something to experience live on stage, since they use a lot a visuals projected onto the wall behind the band that stand in harmony with the melody, the lyrics or the dynamics of the song – very Godspeed-ish.Justin Faase