Challenger (Kingfisher Bluez)
Mi’ens’s Challenger was technically released in the summer of 2016, but it wasn’t pressed onto its glorious coloured 10-inch vinyl format until the winter, and its official release show remains planned for January 28, 2017.
As it happens, January 28 is the anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle disaster, whence the album’s title was drawn.
A stylized rendition of the craft’s plume disintegrating over the Atlantic Ocean graces the mini-album’s cover, providing an implied context with which one may approach this album, a dearth of intelligence that results in chaos as humanity’s progress is tempered by hubris.
The Vancouver-based duo of drummer Evan and guitarist-looper-frontwoman Kim (last names withheld by request) are experts in a quite specific yet hard-to-pin-down style of artsy, noisy math-rock, perhaps best summarized by the title of their 2014 debut, experimentalsparklenoisepop.
Their prowess is even more clearly defined on Challenger, bursting with technical instrumental jams for those who gravitate to the warmer side of Battles, Don Caballero, and Trans Am. Evan propels the polyrhythmic momentum, while Kim’s shredding breaks the sound barrier, the two delivering a sonic assault and always pushing forward with a spring in their step.
You won’t mind Momma pinning these Mi’ens to your ears.