"Don't touch her there. He watched her. She knew his look from behind. When she came home for Christmas."
After writing just about the best song ever about incestuous rape and finally escaping the Longview-loop (perennially re-releasing old material), Denmark's greatest export Mew released the equally mesmerising Mew and the Glass Handed Kites before retreating into hibernation once more.
Now though, the leaves are golden, the air is sprightly and thick with promise and the grass wavers rhythmically in the wind, Mew are back with a precursor to their upcoming new album [takes deep breath] No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry They Washed Away. No More Stories, The World Is Grey. I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away which plucks two songs from said album and pairs them up with three B-sides written by the band.
Structurally, the E.P conjures images of two lands, one bursting with jubilant forest animals parading around luscious swathes of greenery. At the edge of this paradisaic land lies a small rickety bridge to another world where fog looms thick over the sunburnt terrain. Aching trees stretch fragilely over small pools of completely stationary water while the only sound is that of a harsh stiff wind. If your browser is equipped with the Cliffs Notes plug-in: "CN: Happy rock music which segues into mournful indie-rock"
A change for the band, percussion is prominent in the tracks derived from the album tingeing them with a much happier tone than Mew's previous body of work. The wilfully obscure time signature marking the beginning of "Introducing Palace Players" is guaranteed to cause frustration to casual finger-tappers on a par with Biffy Clyro's "Living is a Problem 'Cause Everything Dies". The hallmarks of the Danish indie/shoegaze/dream-pop trio are all present and correct still. Front-man Jonas Bjerre still blasts through the Falsetto register making the band as easily recognisable as a bear at the annual boy scouts convention.
The mid-point of the E.P is occupied by instrumental intermission piece "Owl" which then gives rise to minimalistic piano dirge "Start". Neither tracks are particularly remarkable, yet they do perfectly shift the atmosphere for the real star of the second half, finale "Swimmer's Chant".
With the first minute of the song seemingly performed in the outer-reaches of Earth's atmosphere, it then "comes to life" at the exact moment those lyrics are sung. Buoyed along by the tribalistic drum rhythm which punches through like a burst of radiation colouring the blackness it build the track into perhaps the best reminder of Glass Handed Kites-era Mew.
True, this E.P is little more than a trailer for what's to come, but it's still one that has been lovingly and thoughtfully assembled so as to both whet the appetite of anyone possessing a pulse (preferably your own) and still form a short, yet beautifully cohesive piece of art. If that's not worth getting molested by your uncle for around December time, we don't know what is.