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Wednesday 20 September 2023

Middlebees - In The Wild

Atlanta's Jon Manos is Middlebees. He's a multi-instrumentalist that works with a rotating line up of musicians and he has fashioned up a splendid Pop Rock album that is incredibly melodic and provides great variety and versatility.

It is a wonderful listen from the opener, In The Wild to the closer, People, Places, Faces And Names. The former blasts in a sort of Springsteen light and is a song that wouldn't be out of place on Fast Romantics' American Love album. The latter lies somewhere between 60s West Coast Sunshine Pop and something much more folky.

Yet She's Nowhere sounds like a weeping troubadour 70s Classic Rock affair and NYC Fever has a real "Let's do the show right here" Classic Rock vibe with the addition of Brass and a fine Organ run. Step Inside The Mirror even races along in a yee haw manner.

The album feels at its best when it is at jauntiest. Acworth Beach is such an example with its killer chorus. Francoise Hideaway is a Monday to Sunday song that adds a sort of Pogues feel to the chorus. Move It (A Million Miles Away) is great harmonic 70s Pop Rock.

Then there is the majesty of Thinking Of You which has a fine 60s feel that is more than a little Psych Pop on the verse and adds a Bacharach like Trumpet and a memorable chorus. All in all there isn't a duff song on thedozen included.

The variety is the key, but Manos's vocal is also a big plus. It is unusual in a good way, more mature than his years belie. An album like this can be undermined by too much mellowness allowing a drift into Soft Rock, Manos's voice doesn't allow that. A really special album and essential for those who like their Pop Rock.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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