Midwives – EP (Review)

by Steven Spoerl

Milwaukee’s Midnight Reruns are set to unveil their debut LP next week and it’s likely to be one of the year’s best. Don’t let that serve as a distraction from Rerun’s frontman Graham Hunt’s other project, the equally attention-deserving hardcore act Midwives. After releasing a self-titled five song EP digitally through Bandcamp only a little over a month ago, Direct Current records will be pressing 7″ copies as their very first release. It’s one hell of a first release for both parties, occupying a space that falls somewhere between OFF! and Pissed Jeans.
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Hunt’s vicious guitar work here is matched in intensity by his bandmates’ respective performances. Blood is shed. The whole thing’s over in seven exhilarating minutes. With each track coming in at an average of only slightly over a minute, there’s no time to breathe. Midwives manage to execute on each of these tracks, going 5-for-5 on their first outing.

Midwives’ unfiltered frustration may be their most defining characteristic, coming to a head in “Twinkie” at the EP’s midway point amid repeated cries of “I can’t take this.” Their most valuable asset, however, surfaces in the inventive final minute of “Debonair”, which finds the band slowing down and descending into a gently chaotic pattern that’s somewhat reminiscent of the expansive instrumental pieces on Fucked Up’s The Chemistry of Common Life. “Debonair” giving way to new stylistic elements as the EP bows out suggests new and exciting possibilities for Midwives’ sound, which  sets them up nicely and elevates anticipation for what they’ll manage with any follow-up’s.

From the pummeling “White Whine” through to those final quietly unnerving moments, there’s never a dull section. Midwives’ introduction piece should be an equally strong start to Direct Current’s operations. Both the band and the label seem well worth keeping tabs on. Add this to Perfect Pussy’s I have lost all desire for feeling, Pharmakon’s Abandon, and LVL Up’s Extra Worlds as one of the year’s best EP’s. Keep an eye out for the physical release and stream it below.