It has been a day and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to crawl into bed and just pass out but how can I do that when there’s so much music to check out?! Hopefully ‘The Middle Distance’ from Hangnails gives me a much-needed second wind!
The title track, “The Middle Distance”, gets this quick four-song EP started off right. There’s something almost western-sounding about the instrumentation that kicks this track off before almost grungey vocals come in and carry this track away. There’s something simplistic sounding about this opening track but don’t mistake that for me trying to say that there’s something quiet or even low-key about it. This opening track is so full of energy even with the almost hollow sound and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
There’s still something oddly western about “Alienated Young Man”. I think it’s in the guitar work but you’ll just have to take a listen and see for yourself. This weird sound may also just be my exhaustion taking over. Regardless, I love that this second track doesn’t stray too far away from the opening song stylistically yet still brings a new vibe to this EP. I adored the infectious clapping part that comes in towards the end of this track. There was just something perfectly anthemic about it that I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, that vibe closes out this track and, before I knew it, the EP had moved on.
“The Lucky Few” has a more classic indie-pop sound to it while still being distinctively that of Hangnails. This track was my favorite, hands down. There was just something so dancey yet sensitive about how the band presented this track and I loved that it kind of leaned into that anthemic ending of “Alienated Young Man” in just the right way. Even though this is a super fun track, there’s an edge in the vocals that comes through loud and clear. The guitar work in this track is also pure gold. There are fun little ornamental parts that come in from the guitar that had me smiling from ear to ear.
This journey ends with “Sell Me Sickness”. Although the track starts off slow and steady, it’s not long before the band speeds that up, and this track races this EP to the finish line. Even though part of me wanted to hear a more sensitive side of this band because I felt like I hadn’t really gotten that yet, I loved how this track seemed to mirror back to the first two tracks with this almost dirty sound. There’s almost an AJJ indie-punk vibe to this track that I instantly wish I would have gotten more of throughout this EP but, at only four tracks, the band did all they could and I guess I’ll just have to spend some time tonight digging into their other material that’s out there!
My Favorite Track(s): “The Lucky Few”
For Fans Of: Very Cool Soundscapes; Creativity
Daydream-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept next to me on the couch; Autumn slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 6.5 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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