“Still Life on Fire” Mise en Scene|
Mise en Scene is a trio from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist, Stefanie Blondal Johnson, with drummer, Jodi Dunlop, and bassist, Corey Hykawy, the band’s sophomore album is arena-style garage rock-pop — with some punky elements at times. Arrangements are typically full and loud, with Blondal Johnson’s strong, soaring vocals often pinning the VU meters, and the occasional scream added for spice. Quite a good set of songs with considerable variety.
Recommended: 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11. No FCCs detected.
1. (1:44) Intro (Nothing) – Soft and flowing intro. Airy vocals. Jangly guitars. Sustained synth strings.
2. (3:22) Closer – Starts with feedback. Snapping drums. Primal scream 13 seconds in. Rapidly pulsing bass. Buzzy guitars. Strong, husky vocals. ****
3. (2:38) Light in the Night (Lies) – Swaying rock anthem, balanced with some sweetness in the chorus. ***
4. (3:05) Guts/Glory – Somewhat slower and melancholy, but still big with throaty vocals soaring and “oooh oooh” background vocals. Gritty guitars.
5. (4:09) I’m Ok – Slowcore, with keys and guitar and Blondal Johnson’s plaintive vocals assuring you that she’s okay. Builds to huge, edgy finish.
6. (2:42) Waster – Up-tempo, straight-ahead, punky, garage rock. Nice keyboard solo near the end, with bells. ***
7. (3:41) Still Life on Fire – Piano sets the tone early. Bright and bouncy beat. Richer, less edgy vocals. Late 70s, early 80s vibe. ***
8. (3:36) Scout – Rolling rock ‘n’ roll with chugging guitars, solid back beat and nice backing vocals. Reminiscent of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”
9. (3:00) Young Leo – Punky and driving with bold, reverbed vocals evolving into the occasional scream. A bit surfy — a Best Coast feeling. ***
10. (2:45) True – Another galloping rock song with plinking piano.
11. (3:34) Same Hearts – Tumbling drums, jangly guitar, full-throated vocals, and glockenspiel. ***
12. (0:57) Outro (Everything) – Soft, classically orchestrated exit from the dynamic set of rock songs on the album. No vocals.