To some people, emo as a genre is a thing of the past, but truthfully, if you dig deep enough into the depths of underground music, the genre is pretty much alive and well. If not even better than ever before. There are outstanding bands who are experimenting with classic emo, Midwest emo, a mixture of emo and indie, or emo and screamo sound. The underground scene blooms with such bands who’re capable of reinventing emo sound, so you’ll stumble upon some unique groups if you dig deep enough. Mild Crush recently sent me a message over Instagram, so I took a couple of listens to their songs. A week or two later, their tape showed up on my doorstep, so it’s time for another review.
Mixed Feelings is a debut cassette by this Swiss alter/emo quartet. Previously, Mild Crush released three singles, such as Another Storyline, Call It A Day, and Park. All these singles served as a perfect overture to this album. It’s good to mention that these singles have outstanding artworks, done by Manuel Guldimann, a lead vocalist and guitar player in the band. However, for some reason, the band decided on an entirely minimalistic approach on their debut cassette, so you’ll notice a simplistic sketch on a white background as the front cover artwork. Still, don’t let the minimalistic approach to art fool you because the band offers some impressive lyricism and musicianship from scratch to finish.
Mild Crush defies all the classifications into a particular school of emo sound. The band is, without any doubt, inspired by the whole movement but also embraces some other genres like alternative and indie rock. You’ll stumble upon polished contemporary emo sound, but also expect some good old sonic maneuvers that are the main characteristics of the nineties emo scene. These guys also threw elements of alternative, grunge, and indie into the pot, so this sonic stew is tasty but a bit crunchy here and there. Therefore, their songs are versatile, unique, entertaining, and they will appeal to anyone open-minded enough to embrace their music. Besides the beforementioned polished sound, you may notice how the band experiments with raw, abrasive, aggressive, and riffs. These riffs are continuously intervening with clean chord progressions, which are thoughtfully assembled to satisfy even the pickiest admirers of the genre.
The production of the entire recording works to the advantage of the band, no matter how aggressive or clean their direction might be at the moment. Mixed Feelings is not overly produced nor overly lo-fi, so the band purposely left this recording with all imperfections that unquestionably work like a charm for this type of music. These imperfections add more rawness, aggression, depth to the entire recording. All in all, Mixed Feelings is a great starting point for a promising band such as Mild Crush, and I am honestly looking forward to hearing more from this band. The cassette is available directly from the band, so head over to their Bandcamp page and support their work by purchasing it. You can also listen to it on all streaming services if you prefer digital music. Highly recommended release!