A combination of authentic punk and deeply personal, emotive lyrics that don’t just tackle the worlds messed up politics but also the conflicts inside us that we try to hide away.
Back in 2016, Muncie Girls took everyone by surprise with their terrific, intense and electrifying punk debut ’Caplan to Belsize’. Since then, the group have toured the world extensively, playing sets at Reading, Glastonbury and even Japan before they finally launched head first into follow up ‘Fixed Ideals’.
Coming into the new record, the big question surrounding the politicised and heavily charged three-piece’s follow up was, whether the group could strike gold again? now with the added expectation from both critics and fans, it wasn’t going to be an easy task, thankfully though ‘Fixed Ideals’ surpasses the anticipation, sparking conversation once more with an intelligent and exciting follow up.
Once again, At the heart of the record is Lande Hekt’s thought-provoking and heartfelt lyrics. This time though Hekt has looked inwards for more personal stories rather than the more political outcries of their debut. Of course, this is Punk music, so even the most heartfelt of messages don’t always come quietly. Opening track ‘Jeremy’ throws you straight into the deep end with easily the groups biggest and most brash track. It’s an incredibly personal song which takes aim at Hekt’s absent father whilst also embodying all those emotions we feel with a disappointing parent, just one example of subjects Muncie Girls aren’t afraid to focus on.
Over the course of 13 tracks, the band also tackle mental health issues on the wondrous and romantic ‘Picture Of Health’. Whilst also not being afraid to take a more frank and revealing look at the system itself on ‘Clinic’ which see’s Hekt sing about her own anxiety whilst placing a spotlight on the brilliant yet severely underfunded support facilities in place in our country.
You could easily think the intensity and severity of the issues touched on would perhaps add a sense of dread or gloom to the record but that couldn’t be further from the truth. ‘Clinic’ especially layers the lyrics over a series of stirring melodies that just pull at your heart and bring a smile to your face.
Smartly, not one song surpasses the 4-minute mark. This means not one of the thirteen tracks ever outstays their welcome, in fact, they all have their own distinct personality and quirks. So, when I think back on the album I can pick out tiny characteristics of each track whether it’s ‘Isn’t Life Funny’s’ playful twinkling melody, the literal blowing bubbles of ‘Bubble Bath’ or the vigorous ferocity of single ‘Locked Up’ which manages to rapidly go through Lande’s list of issues with society at a breathtaking pace. Nowadays when we live in an environment in which many records are intent on over-saturating whether it be through a lack of quality control or cynically to increase streaming figures, Muncie Girls’ attention to detail and creating a record with cohesive is actually wonderfully reinvigorating.
Ultimately, with ‘Fixed Ideals’ Muncie Girls have achieved something which is becoming upsettingly rare in this modern music environment. They’ve created a record which is brimming full of character, memorable moments and large choruses but most importantly, an emotional connection.