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Mixtapes - Ordinary Silence (Cover Artwork)

Mixtapes

Mixtapes: Ordinary SilenceOrdinary Silence (2013)
No Sleep Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: LysdexiaLysdexia
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I once wrote another review about Mixtapes for another blog about how the band was probably Cincinnati's best-kept secret apart from all of the barbecue joints in neighborhoods you probably wouldn't want to be in after dark. The cat's out of the bag by now. After their moderately-sized punk label de.
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I once wrote another review about Mixtapes for another blog about how the band was probably Cincinnati's best-kept secret apart from all of the barbecue joints in neighborhoods you probably wouldn't want to be in after dark. The cat's out of the bag by now. After their moderately-sized punk label debut, last year's Even On The Worst Nights, you probably wouldn't expect them to have put out another full-length so quickly. Rappers don't even drop mixtapes as frequently as Mixtapes drop albums. Lots of people would assume a quick turnaround on albums might mean that they're not putting any work into it, and I usually would as well, but I don't know how it comes so naturally to them. It's a strength that the band has capitalized on for Ordinary Silence.

Mixtapes really had a defined sound before this album: saccharine pop-punk tunes with highly descriptive lyrics that almost felt a little too close to home, even for the people that weren't living them out. Ordinary Silence sounds like that but it's less punk, I suppose. It feels a lot like it shouldn't be a Mixtapes record. It's not sweet. It's got some pretty depressing lyrics on tracks like "A List Of Things I Can't Handle." Sonically, I'm reminded of Iron Chic, Superchunk, and the '90s but it's still definitely a record that's current in 2013. Vocally, this album lets Ryan Rockwell take a backseat on a lot of tracks to Maura Weaver and that's such a great change. Nothing against Rockwell's voice, but this album has a lot more moments where Weaver shines in a light that hasn't really been cast on her in the past. She really gets out and owns this record, which is probably one of the reasons that it sounds so different.

I mentioned the album not being as sweet as prior records and that's because it feels a lot more unhinged. It's not manic or anything, it's just that there's not any punches pulled. Traces of that popped out on "Anyways" from Even On The Worst Nights, but it's really out in full force here. Closing track "Be The Speak That You Change About," is about as close to a track like "Fuck This Industry" by Waka Flocka as we're going to get from a punk band. "Happy and Poor" is a standout for the band in that it's a perfect track to describe the niche in music they have, even though it doesn't even sound like most of their music. Paradoxes like that are going a long way to prove that the band still has a lot more going for them than you'd think.

And really, who's underestimating Mixtapes at this point? Is an album like this a sleeper hit? They're well-loved in the scene, but not for albums like this. While I've celebrated the entire catalogue, I'm really loving this album over the others. Maybe it's just hitting me in the right place at the right time, but I've found this one infinitely more listenable than the others and I've clocked tons of plays on those. Mixtapes have come a long way from complaining about their friends doing cocaine and complaining, but they've never strayed this far from home. It's a calculated risk that pays off well, and right in near the top of releases from 2013. It's a bold record that takes them into unfamiliar territory musically and could take them into unfamiliar territory in terms of popularity. It's not a genre-bending landmark release, but it's an album that should have a lot of people talking. It definitely stands that any sort of silence surrounding Ordinary Silence shouldn't be considered ordinary.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Mixtapes - Even on the Worst NightsMasked Intruder - Masked IntruderJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyBomb the Music Industry! - VacationCitizen - YouthBlack Flag - The First Four YearsLess Than Jake - Greetings & SalutationsAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitKreayshawn - Somethin' 'Bout Kreay'Rocket from the Crypt - Scream, Dracula, Scream!

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
pokinatcha (July 17, 2013)

Don't find this record compelling at all.

2013 is turning out to be the year of disappointing albums. Mixtapes, Elway, Lemuria, Frank Turner, Front Bottoms...

theproblemwithfire (July 15, 2013)

this band sounds like bowling for soup

Grue (July 12, 2013)

I've listened to this and so far, none of the songs are as catchy and memorable as the highlights from the previous records (like you can listen to Russian House DJ once and it never leaves your head afterwards). I'll do a few more listens, but I'm kinda disappointed so far.

KevinEleven (July 11, 2013)

I slightly prefer their last album, but Mixtapes is still one of the better pop-punk in recent years.

skolarx (July 10, 2013)

I don't get the mall punk comments at all. They sound like what pop punk should to to me (as opposed to bands like Four Year Strong or Set Your Goals who for some reason are labeled pop punk.) Overall I didn't like the record as much as I liked their last album but it's still probably in my top 5 for the year so far.

I do hate the song Poor & Happy though. not sure what it is about the song that annoys the shit out of me but there is something there. Maybe it's when I think Poor & Happy, I'm thinking of Avail and that ugly is missing.

flowerfeeder (July 10, 2013)

Based on these comments, it appears the org's bizzare love affair with this band is over.

I think Mixtapes is fun.. nothing more, nothing less...and will probably like this record. I just never understood why they got a pass here considering how blatantly "mall punk" they are.

EchosMyron (July 10, 2013)

Score is for soft serve vanilla ice cream.

ZappBrannigan (July 10, 2013)

I prefer Even On The Worst Nights, but this is still a great album.

IanIsSuperRad (July 9, 2013)

I enjoy this more than their last album, but not quite as much as their first. It'll probably end up near the top of my year end list though.

Johnathon1069 (July 9, 2013)

Oh no the music is poppy and the vocals are melodic, there's a marked difference between playing music that is catchy with a clean vocal track while staying honest to yourself (which Mixtapes have done) and being Simple Plan or Good Charlotte.

Now you stay home
Mad at the whole scene
For refusing to freeze
In 1983
- Jello Biafra

And please, if you're demand of punk music is that it never changes ... please sell me your Husker Du LPs ... you most likely don't enjoy them anyways.

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (July 9, 2013)

republican mall punk in his 30s grows up to make crayola-core...........yah, sounds totally like superchunk...................

Blackjaw_ (July 9, 2013)

"It is insulting to the mighty Superchunk to compare this watered down Avril Levine bullshit to them."

You're sort of right.

thenewpope (July 9, 2013)

Cincy's best kept secret is that all the good bands live in Columbus.
It is insulting to the mighty Superchunk to compare this watered down Avril Levine bullshit to them.

Blackjaw_ (July 9, 2013)

The songs that actually do sort of sound like Superchunk are good. I don't like pop punk though, so the other songs... just not for me.

lmchc (July 9, 2013)

sink or swim > ordinary silence > handwritten

ksupilot (July 9, 2013)

Love this album! Review sums it up perfectly.

Babrook (July 9, 2013)

not punk

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