Music Reviews

Mi Ami Watersports

(Quarterstick) Rating - 8/10

The stretched and nervously spastic energy combined with bouts of Afro-dub infused groove in Echononecho, first track from Mi Ami’s debut album, Watersports, can set your headspace to ZONE for extended periods of time, only to shock you back to consciousness once singer/guitarist Daniel Martin-McCormick’s Boredoms quasi-femme delivery realizes its full and grating potential. 

McCormick’s scream-stylings prancing about as devil dub fuels its movement, Watersports is an almost direct descendent of Pop Group’s Y, though its propensity for lengthy ruts of uninterrupted bass rhythm seems to evoke Public Image Ltd.’s Metal Box as waves of six-string dissonance shriek and claw around bassist Jacob Long and Damon Palermo’s pseudo tribal percussion.

One-time members of Dischord noise jammers Black Eyes, McCormick and Long are still devotees of the No Wave School of Cacophony, though Mi Ami’s version of the lesson plan is unsettling and meditative, sometimes building up to explosive results (The Man In Your House), but more often maintaining an even level of unsatisfied suspense or unrealized climax.  We are not necessarily blue balled, but kept at attention and then eventually led to sink into its mesmerizing continuity.  Even when they shred (New Guitar), they still drift into a manipulated sound expanse. 

Freed From Sin finds the band at their most lively, adapting a Minutmen-funk foundation to wax profane paroxysms atop, eliminating some of the sexual tension built-up in the previous track, Pressure.

White Wife is nine minutes of understated sonic layering and momentum, a veritable temple of spacious resonance that carries McCormick’s reverberating string work over into the Afro-disco closer, Peacetalks/Downer.

As Watersports crawls through its manipulated space, relying on a somewhat restrained mixture of irritating and cogitative emanations, Mi Ami restructures the more abrupt aspects of Post-Punk, making it almost as dreamlike and ghostly as the Pop Group had.  Maybe it is a recycled sound, obvious in its allegiance to Y and the No Wave, but Mi Ami is compelling, nonetheless.  Watersports screams, prays, rests, worries and dreams: human nature in action.