steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Midway State

"Met a Man on Top of the Hill" CDEP


Genre: rock, alternative rock

June 2008

How many impassioned alt rock bands can mainstream audiences keep track of? This brain buster crossed my mind several times throughout The Midway State's Met a Man on Top of the Hill EP. If this isn't generic, I don't know what is. Case in point: "Change For You" would sound right at home accompanying the latest teen thriller's end credits; it subsequently might be this disc's best shot at a hit single.

Nobody can discredit The Midway State's understanding of a good pop hook, yet their moping, overly-sensitive sound isn't doing the band any favours in terms of originality ("Nobody Understands" is your worst culprit, gentlemen). "A Million Fireflies," the EP's "edgy" song (must have been the band "bad boy" who wrote this one), is also this disc's most interesting nugget thanks to some well-placed falsetto vocals and a strong breakthrough chorus. Still, I'm pretty sure Dashboard Confessional has been doing this for years.

I'll concede that I'm more impressed with the songwriting polish of The Midway State than often is the case with the innumerable radio-ready acts trickling out of major label subsidiaries these days. Still, sticking to this template could leave them little credibility if they don't catch a break in the near future.


Fun Fact: These guys played this year's Toronto's New Year's Eve party.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 4 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2007]