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Defiance, Ohio - Midwestern Minutes (Cover Artwork)

Defiance, Ohio

Defiance, Ohio: Midwestern MinutesMidwestern Minutes (2010)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

I consider Defiance, Ohio's last full-length, 2007's The Fear, The Fear, The Fear, to be one of those "two steps forward, one step back" type of albums. The band had clearly found a way to mature and distinguish themselves from the burgeoning mass of similar-sounding folk-punk bands springing up, bu.
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I consider Defiance, Ohio's last full-length, 2007's The Fear, The Fear, The Fear, to be one of those "two steps forward, one step back" type of albums. The band had clearly found a way to mature and distinguish themselves from the burgeoning mass of similar-sounding folk-punk bands springing up, but had not fully come to grasp with their new sound. The result was an album with many great tracks, but also many where the band still seemed to be finding its footing, making it slightly weaker than their previous effort, The Great Depression.

Enter Midwestern Minutes, the band's 2010 full-length, which sounds somewhat like what the band was attempting to do on The Fear, but with even greater success. They manage to combine the best aspects of The Great Depression with the direction they took on The Fear, making for arguably the band's best album to date.

I know that a lot of fans lament the band's decision to leave their folk-punk roots, but Midwestern Minutes exposes why that was such a good idea. As strong as the songs on The Great Depression are, many of them blend in with the vast quantity of folk-punk that has been produced since. However, the songs on Midwestern Minutes have a very unique sound: The band retains its folk sensibilities and is certainly still a punk band at heart, but their current sound makes far more room for pop, rock and indie influences.

Another strength of the album is the variety within it. "Her Majesty's Midwestern Islands" is likely as poppy and happy as the band has ever been, while "Everyone Else on the Other Side" is probably as heartbreaking as anything they've ever recorded. "Dissimilarity Index" is an uneasy, frightened track, while "The Reason" is a sad reminder that we sometimes make plans that can never be seen through when loved ones pass away.

If I have one complaint about Midwestern Minutes, it's that although it is the band's most consistent album to date, it lacks the truly standout tracks that have graced other albums ("Condition 11:11" and "Anxious and Worrying" come to mind). However, that's a fairly minor quibble about an otherwise strong album from a band that is starting to truly reap the benefits that come from taking musical risks.

 

 
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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 (June 6, 2012)

The review is spot on. Not as high of highs as The Great Depression, but stronger average quality, though still a little bit short.

jofx1992 (February 7, 2011)

i used to think these guys were against me ripoffs like everyone else but now that against me is gone i approve and after many listens of the vynil for this record and previous i must say these guys kick ass (especially after a nice fat joint) punk legacy??i think its been achieved

burntorangepeel (January 13, 2011)

I love this album. "You Are Loved" is perfect.

miguel (January 12, 2011)

"a fairly minor quibble"

tsiege (January 12, 2011)

The use of piano in this album rocks!

froggerwithmylife (January 11, 2011)

I love Hairpool and the Reason but the rest of the album is kinda forgettable.

Problematiclogic (January 11, 2011)

Hairpool is surely the standout, maybe the best song they've doe in my opinion. My only complaint is that it's far too short.

wallrock (January 11, 2011)

It's taken me longer to get into this album than with their previous two, but I think it's more because there's no real standout track for me. Whereas I listened to "The List" and "Oh, Susquehanna!" on repeat for weeks on end I haven't really become enamored with any particular track on this release. That's not to say I don't enjoy it, far from it. I appreciate the album as a whole but I don't really connect with it like I did the previous two. It's still a top release of the year for me though.

DarrenMcLeod (January 11, 2011)

@Neill - good point, and something I completely missed because I'm really bad at keeping track of EPs. I actually had the EP you're refering to where the songs were released, but never got around to listening to it.

@bettycrockerspaniel - those are all great songs (especially "You Are Loved"). In hindsight, I think the reason that I felt there were no standouts is because the songs on here are, on average, simply better than the songs on their other records, so it makes the good ones here stand out less.

Neill_Cawley (January 11, 2011)

Agreed. Top 10 record for me, but the one complaint should be even more obvious: 5 of these songs were already released before the record came out. That's nearly half the record.

Blackjaw_ (January 11, 2011)

Great album, even better band. Nana Grizol's release was better though.

Babrook (January 11, 2011)

Was just listening to this album on the way to school today. It's a good album but for some reason it doesn't hook me in the same ways that the prior Defiance albums have. Floodwaters is great, Her Majesty's... is great, Hairpool is great, though.

bettycrockerspaniel (January 11, 2011)

I liked the review but i disagree with the comment about a lack of standouts.
Floodwaters, You are Loved, and Hairpool are some of my favorite Defiance, Ohio songs.
I also love the change in sound with songs like Diamond's Theme song and the depressing as hell Everyone Else on the Other Side.
I think this album is a great step forward for the band, not that their back catalog isn't spectacular as well.

Slazey (January 11, 2011)

Good review. Would add that this might be their strongest album for lyrics to date. Some great stuff in there.

welcome_to_1984 (January 11, 2011)

Agreed, besides Anxious and Worrying there wern't any standout tracks on the Fear. But Hairpool is awesome, as are quite a few other songs on this album. I hadn't even thought of the departure from the folk punk roots, and I guess that's because the transistion was so seamless. Great album.

ashtraymonument (January 11, 2011)

definitely enjoyed this more the The Fear. "hair pool" is a great song

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