A roaring juggernaut of swirling guitars, soaring choruses and raging emotions, Mittenfields’ The Fresh Sum grabs you from the very beginning of “Mixed Signals (On The Rocks)” and takes you on a roller coaster journey of highs and lows that will leave you ready and waiting for their debut full-length. The a fore-mentioned track starts out slowly and builds into a crashing wave of screaming guitars (and vocals) that will quickly make yourself question whether you need to have the knob turned that far to the right…or should you turn it farther?
This is exactly what the quintet from Washington DC was created for – they want, no, they crave the noise and with their three-pronged attack of guitars they bring it in a fashion that you don’t hear often in today’s music scene. The gem of the five-song collection is “My Mind Is An Avalanche” (which we wrote about here), an honest to goodness avalanche of Dave Mann’s shouted vocals backed by more rhythm and roaring guitar work than any band has a right to. The real build-up begins at about 3:00 into the song, culminating in a smash of aural-chaos that is, in a word, awesome.
“Goliath FTW” is a bit more bluesy and less hyper-charged. It showcases a softer side of Mittenfields, though I’ve heard many a band claim that a track like this showcases their harder edge. Judge it how you will, but it’s no slouch. “Cascades” opens to feedback and distortion like a shoegaze serenade. The instrumentation is definitely very waterfall/cascade-esque, and the catchy vocals that fill the chorus create a stellar track that can hold it’s own among the rest.
The bonus track, “Swim In A Tight Parallel” brings back the calamity found in the first two songs on the EP. Though the soft vocals in the opening verse appear to come harder than the swelling choruses for our intrepid vocalist, “Swim” would make for an excellent end to a show and it definitely is a great closer for this set.
Mittenfields is every bit of seven foot tall, and live up to the words on their Facebook: everything louder than everything else. Do not fret, though, dear reader. They appear to be gentle folk without guitars in their hands – at least from the small bit I have spoken with them.
They only intend to swallow you in sound.