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mild west

Album review: Fullbloods - Mild West

Fullbloods are back.
 
After their 2013 streaming-only release, Making Face, the band, fronted by Ross Brown (The Empty Spaces, solo work) seemed to go quiet. Until recently, that is. Rocketing out of retirement, Fullbloods brings us Mild West, an eleven-track, forty-minute album chock full of melodic Midwestern surf-rock via High Dive Records. This album marks a departure from their old sound, that funky yet smooth indie music. This album is much more experimental, adding more depth, new sounds, and creative hooks, Mild West is a new Fullbloods.
 
Noodling their way into the first track, Money, Fullbloods fully embody that previously mentioned Midwestern surf rock. The kind of music that you expect to hear exuding from a garage on a 70-degree day in April. It’s punchy, it’s soulful, it’s ironically braggadocious, as much of the album turns out to be.
 
This is the sort of album that you roll your windows down for. It harkens daydreams of cool air and bright sunlight. The riffing of the guitars pushes your car along the boulevard as the light drumming stirs up your imagination. Quirky, inconsistent keys pop in and out, offering a whole new ingredient to the song’s recipe. Sometimes the keys make the songs feel futuristic, such as in “Neverminded.” And yet, at other times, the keys take on an almost extraterrestrial voice, like in “Kind of Gentlemen” and “Anima Mundi.”
 
The album doesn’t truly slow down until the seventh track, “Caught A Feeling.” This song’s haunting harmonies are found throughout the track. The next ‘ballad’ won’t be found until the outro of the album, the final track, “Air Conditioner.”
 
Altogether, Mild West offers up exactly what listeners expect from KC-based High Dive Records. An album that mixes perfectly on a playlist with Shy Boys, The ACB’s, Rev Gusto, and Empty Moon. The album carries a light-hearted vibe with self-deprecating lyrics. Clever and honest songwriting lends itself well to the feel of the album. Mild West is Fullbloods’ best album to date.
 
 
 
--Steven Ervay
Steven lives the agency life by day, and hustles music by night at The Record Machine. If he's not going to your show, he's probably playing frisbee with his dog or elbow deep in some chicken wings.
 

Fullbloods celebrated the release of Mild West in KC over the weekend, and are starting a tour tonight in Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, and Des Moines. They’ll be back in KC on St. Patrick’s Day at The Riot Room. 

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