The Radio Goodnight (Caulfield Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Post-punk outfit m.i.j. take the time-honored route of honing their skills before unleashing their sound on the world. Forming in 1994, instead of getting together for a few shows and practices and rushing out their demo or, even worse, full-length, the band spent time working out their material before it felt right. And, on their debut full-length ("The Radio Goodnight") it feels right as the band jumps around from full-on rock attacks to methodical pools of emotions.
"Say It In Words" starts slow but quickly builds into the wall of noise and monstrous rock the band is capable of. Rather than scream and force the rock in your face, though, the band stays melodic and soft while the guitars roar, the drums hammer away, and the bass spills out a tight rhythm to chew on. The sweet vocals (which sometimes resemble that of a female, but are indeed male) stops your heart while the driving rock force keeps it beating.
The settled, tender, optimistic flow of "Right Downtown" keeps a soft nature present in the disc and ensures you'll have your fill of emo-inspired low key, highly pondering pop while "West" holds nothing back as the band surges back into their sweetly fierce brand of post-punk that stuns you with the guitars and keeps you on the edge with the emotionally charged vocals and the sweet pop shadow that illuminates the song.
"Do You Miss" sits you back down to relax and feel the band's toned down path to your head and heart, "Then the Last Time Was" rocks you out again, while album closer "Again Today" puts a lid on everything with an acoustic piece sure to get your eyes watering.
Six years after inception the band delivers a good natured, touching record that is able to capture a rocking spirit next to one that wants to cuddle. I'll give it an A-.