Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

Stream Four Lean New Songs From the Milwaukee Punk Band Midwives

By Evan Rytlewski
midwives mike rasmussen for bombs away photography
Photo credit: Mike Rasmussen/Bomb Away Photography
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Music writers come with a lot of biases, some of them obvious and others less so, but here's one of the most fundamental ones: We're more likely to cover bands with built-in angles. Artists that have singular sounds or unusual back stories tend to get the most coverage from blogs, newspapers and magazines in part because they're simply easier to write about. As biases go, this isn't the worst one to have—strong angles, after all, generally make for more interesting reads—but the tradeoff is that sometimes conventional genre bands can go overlooked since there isn't much that can be said about them. Case in point: the local punk band Midwives, who've been playing around the city for the last year or so. They're a punk band, and a pretty good one, with a raw, no-gimmicks approach indebted to '80s hardcore. I've caught them a few times live, and each time they've delivered a succinct, entertaining set. And that's about all you really need to know about them.

I suppose I should also note that the band features Shepherd contributor Sahan Jayasuriya on drums, which always amuses me. If you've ever chatted with Sahan, or read his feature Influenced, where he speaks in depth with area musicians about the artists who shaped them, you know that he's a true music buff, with a passion for music that spans genres. He could have ended up in any number of high-concept bands that put his breadth of knowledge to use, but instead he plays in one of the most straightforward punk groups I can name. I've got to admire that approach: Sometimes it's best to commit yourself to one sound and do it well, even if it isn't the flashiest thing do to. The city can always use more good punk bands, and Midwives are a good punk band.

Midwives have a full-length in the pipeline for possible release later this year or early next, but in the meantime they've released four songs as part of a split with Foreign Lawns, Good News for Modern Man. You can stream those songs below, via Bandcamp, and catch them on Monday, Aug. 25 when both bands share a bill with Wild Child at Quarters Rock 'n' Roll Palace.


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