Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals

‘Fixed Ideals’ is a triumph.
Label: Specialist Subject Records
Released: 31st August 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Punk trio Muncie Girls’ 2016 debut was one of the best UK rock debuts in recent memory and follow up ‘Fixed Ideals’ hits harder and heavier and ramps up everything that makes the band so great.

The emotional and physical core is centred around singer and guitarist Lande Hekt. It’s a turbulent album full of emotional and mental turmoil but it’s a record that has a strong beating heart and spirit that ripples through it, beginning with the resolute and inspiring ‘Jeremy’.

Everything here is a step up. While still rooted in their punk sound, the songs are given more dynamic melodies and arrangements that allow them to blossom and soar. You can hear this on the heart swelling, punch the air chorus of ‘Picture Of Health’.

One of the areas where Muncie Girls have really pushed themselves is adding more variety and dexterousness to their sound. It’s a very personal record and they’ve risen to this by pushing themselves musically as well as personally. Lande’s vocal really stands out and gives each song a compelling quality. It’s there in all the little melodic vocal inflexions that really help the spiky, tender and heartbreaking lyrics hit home.

It’s a record about communities and relationships and how powerful and, at times, toxic they can be. They understand how important forging bonds and staying close to their roots are, just like on highlight ‘In Between Bands’ which describes the tragic fire at their cherished Exeter venue, The Cavern. They’ve betrayed none of those roots in stepping up to the next level.

It’s often said that following up a killer debut album is a band’s ultimate challenge. Muncie Girls have smashed that challenge into oblivion. ‘Fixed Ideals’ is a triumph.

Martyn Young

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