Indie from the future
Hype can be a terrible burden. A mass of critical acclaim before a band has properly figured who they are and what they want to do rarely leads to potential being fulfilled, instead stultifying creativity and imposing impossible expectations. But Black Midi are no ordinary group. Hailed as “the best band in London” on the basis of just a handful of shows and one grainy YouTube video, the buzz around the South London quartet has been off the scale and seen them anointed as the latest saviours of guitar music and “indie” – a big claim for a band that had yet to even release a single.
Yet so far they’ve more than lived up to such lofty expectations, delivering a number of electrifying festival sets and putting out some incendiary tracks. They specialise in an esoteric – and intelligent – take on post-punk and new wave, a glorious racket that’s as inventive as it is catchy. Jazzy riffs, dirty grooves, primal screeching, atonal guitars, and explosions of noise are swirled into a heady cocktail, enigmatic frontman Geordie Greep a studied, intense presence as he prowls the stage.
The band are deadly serious about their art, and it shows; they’re subverting notions of what a typical guitar band can be, pushing at the boundaries that normally restrict such artists. They are weird, thrilling, and damn good fun – not to mention incredibly talented. Their future is surely bright, for Black Midi are that rare exception – a band able to surf the wave of hype instead of being drowned by it.