Tag Archives: John-Mark Lapham

Review: Mien – Mien

When a band assembles as a side project from four successful bands, the first rule of thumb should be to NOT overshadow their original and still active bands. I may be alone in this assessment but I felt that is what happened with Hot Tuna, a side venture with several musicians from Jefferson Airplane. The newly released debut from Mien not only is a great album of psych Rock today, but it has currently overshadowed albums from the four members’ respective bands. Of course, I STILL love all the bands that the Mien members hail from. But I must confess, I’m ALREADY awaiting the next Mien album.

The members of Mien are: Alex Maas (The Black Angels), Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone), Tom Furse (The Horrors), and John-Mark Lapham (The Earlies). With recent albums released and breaks after tours, the four members decided to convene and flesh out further earlier plans for a band.

With a long period of ramping up, the debut album is currently in release. If you’re a fan of the popular Psychedelic Rock genre that has exploded this past decade, then Mien is def an album you want to hear…ALL of it.

This new Mien album has all of the elements of success within. There’s the timely lyrics found in songs like “(I’m Tired Of) Western Shouting”, the use of sitar, loops, keyboards, plus everything you would want in an album that reflects a provocative statement about music in today’s world.

Mien is – quite simply – an album of magnificent exploration in modern Rock. With ten songs running an approximately 43 minutes in album length, the album will provide many hours of delightful replay. It is as original, as retro, and as experimental as can be, all while remaining compelling music.

Another excellent thing that the band is doing (in addition to the release of a strong album), is a compilation of playlists that explore the PsychRock genre heavily with a few ‘off the path’ gems attached. These can be followed and enjoyed on Spotify.

If you need to be acclimated into the musical thrill and pleasure of Psychedelic Rock circa 2018, then Mien is a great jumping point that should lead to more in the burgeoning genre, a genre so big that it has its own weekend festival, Levitation (April 26-29, here).

New Debut Album by Mien (The Black Angels/Elephant Stone/Earlies/The Horrors Collaboration)

Psychedelic Rock has made a resurgence in popularity over these past few years. There are, of course, plenty of Rock bands currently revisiting that ancient but much loved genre from back in the late ’60s. Often, they help to broaden the sound and heighten the experience. There are even festivals put together to showcase many of them in a single locale.

One of those bands is a personal favorite of mine, The Black Angels. Their last release was the excellent Death Song, issued in 2017. But they’re not alone in this genre. You merely have to put in a search term into Google to be rewarded with a wealth of experimentation. (I suggest it!)

As bands take a bit of time off from their recent releases and after the touring has died down, some of the more restless seek other means of output. Alex Maas (The Black Angels) has teamed with Tom Furse (The Horrors), Rishi Dhir (Elephone Stone), and John-Mark Lapham (The Earlies) have started an interim band being called Mien, a word which means ‘a person’s look or manner, a particular kind indicating their character or mood’.

Mien has recorded an album, with just Mien as the go to reference for the title. The new album is scheduled for release by Rocket Recordings on April 6. Mien is planned for issue on CD (housed in a gatefold mini-LP styled jacket, with booklet enclosed), hi-quality FLAC, ALAC (Apple Lossless), AAC, Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV, and AIFF digital format, and split RED and transparent ORANGE vinyl LP.

For more information of to keep track, go to their Bandcamp page (to pre-order), or to their Facebook page. Their website (with store for CD and LP, tee bundles) is here.

MienMien

01 – Earth Moon
02 – Black Habit
03 – (I’m Tired Of) Western Shouting
04 – You Dreamt
05 – Other
06 – Hocus Pocus
07 – Ropes
08 – Echolalia
09 – Odessey
10 – Earth Moon (Reprise)

You can listen to the album’s first single, “Black Habit” below: