From the opening chord of Mi Ami’s Watersports, the “weird for weird’s sake” noise music is an overwhelming auditory experience. Initially it comes across as some sort of “Oh God, this sounds like stereotypical angry girl band music,” then it evolves into something more in line of tight-pants hipster music. You’ll walk away with a headache, but with a speedy rhythm in your step. This is especially obvious after “Pressure,” which, literally, pressures your eardrums into submission.
Don’t expect to find anything new here, or any sort of modern twist to what has become a very calculated formula—nasty punk rock chord changes and androgynous high-pitched vocals. Former Black Eyes members Daniel Martin-McCormick and drummer Jacob Long are featured in Mi Ami to develop a chaotic but rhythmically intense sound that is most significantly heard in “Echononecho” and “White Wife,” but the mixing and bizarre nature of Mi Ami takes away from what might have otherwise been a brilliant melding of sound.
The repetitive rolling and shrill feedback of the oddball punkfests circa the first half of this decade over-influenced the group: it’s obvious that !!! (Chk Chk Chk) and Black Dice, with some early Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Kinks, dominated the band’s creative process. In fact, my favorite stanza from the album is in “New Guitar” where the only words I could discern were “this is just like the last one.” All I could think was “the last one ended at some point?”
The entire 43.5 minutes of the album felt more like one long jam session of atonal screaming rather than a song compilation. Huzzah for discordant disco shriekage right? Although...if you find yourself in a gym where all you have to listen to is Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” as I often do, the clangy punk rock really gets you riding that elliptical like a madwoman—if only I could get away!