Jerry Lucky, USA 2010
I’ve said this before, that one of the great things about reviewing new music is getting contacted by a band looking for exposure. I recently got an email from the band Modest Midget requesting that very thing. They identified themselves as a band that prog-lovers seem to enjoy, so naturally I was intrigued. Modest Midget is based in the Netherlands and consists of Lionel Ziblat (vocals, guitars), Richard Zoer (vocals, bass), Artis Orubs (drums) and Tristan Hupe (keyboards). As a band they’ve been together since 2007 but have only recently released their first recording, a 4 track EP entitled Partial Exposure.
The four tracks on Partial Exposure are all about 3 to 4-minutes but like anything it’s what the band does with those precious minutes that count. Ziblat is the prime mover for Modest Midget, he’s the composer and arranger and within these four tunes he manages to jam quite an assortment of musical influences; everything from the Beatles to Caravan. In fact if I was to label this for the benefit of prog fans, I’d say it’s kind of progressive pop with hints of Canterbury. There is a light, breezy, jazzy feel that runs through these pieces, where the instruments seem to be doing just a little bit more than you might expect from your standard pop fare. At the same time the tunes themselves are very melodic and full of up-beat, quirky sentiment. The tunes ebb and flow from one mood to another, with saxophone or violin accents, subtly changing course from one musical motif to another. One minute it’s pop, the next it’s a bit jazzy, the next there’s a bit of a classical influence. It’s quite captivating.
This is the kind of music that’s going to appeal to fans of art-rock bands such as Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears. The music of Modest Midget is up-beat pop with quite a few Beatle influences but it’s also quite complex in terms of other influences and arrangement as well. Partial Exposure is their debut EP and is just a small taste of what the band can do; I for one am anxiously waiting to hear what these guys come up with for their first full length CD. Stay tuned, it should be good.