An intoxicating salmagundi of personal family problems, ongoing global issues and the beauty of friendship, 'Fixed Ideals' demonstrates Muncie Girls’ maturity and crafty lyrical ability. An album for millennials everywhere, the trio have encapsulated the trials and tribulations of life as a member of Generation Z, wrapping it in upbeat, fast-paced, rowdy rock’n’roll for good measure. Muncie Girls merge bombastic bass lines, dreamy synth and raucous riffs with drum beats that invite you to dance to create a punchy sound.
Striving to be more adventurous, Muncie Girls attempt to steer away from the pop-punk sound that dominated their first record, with frontwoman Lande Hekt picking up both the electric and bass guitar to add intricacy to their sound, resulting in a well-polished, well-oiled machine. However, it is potentially too well-oiled at times, lacking a little of that daring edge. And yet, while the punk-sounds govern, Hekt’s soft and quirky vocal delivery offers a unique touch, making the socially and politically aware lyrics feel more real than say a traditional punk vocal might, keeping the listener intrigued. Her vocal is fluffy and friendly, making the lyrics easier to decipher, allowing her messages to become more accessible. And this is vital, as Hekt’s lyrics are the cornerstone of this record.
A personal diary, Hekt opens her heart and gets straight to the point with album-opener, ‘Jeremy’, which places her right-wing father, who denied her existence, in the lyrical firing line, whilst also celebrating the family that has supported her through thick and thin. ‘High’ follows a similar trend, questioning the lack of financial support from her father who blames “those pesky refugees and lazy claiming families” for financial misfortunes.
Meanwhile, in ‘Clinic’, Hekt turns the focus onto herself, narrating her struggles with anxiety and the resulting CBT therapy, whilst also sympathising with those who’ve had negative experiences with their doctor when dealing with mental health issues. Elsewhere, album highlight, ‘Locked Up’, is a compact, no-nonsense blast of radiant rampant rock ’n’ roll as Hekt lists a whole bunch of things in life that we are meant to celebrate, including Valentine’s Day and weddings, which she believes are pushed upon us, in a protest against society.
It’s not all doom and gloom however, as Muncie Girls address the brighter side of growing up. Whilst there are family problems, a deteriorating society and mental health problems everywhere you look, there’s always positivity floating around, and Muncie Girls are sure to remind you of that. ‘Laugh Again’ sees Hekt remind the listener to keep your friends around, even in your darkest hour, as she sings euphorically, “I wanna see you laugh again my friend!” Elsewhere, ‘Picture Of Health’ and ‘Hangovers’ resonate with students everywhere, summing up the lifestyle of late teens, examining the effects of drinking too much.
Whilst sonically 'Fixed Ideals' can vary in its impact, Lande Hekt’s lyrics tell a relatable story in a crafty way, carrying the record all the way through.
Words: Johnny Rogerson
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