Album Review
Mydriasis - in Order Of AppearanceMydriasis - In Order of Appearance

Mydriasis have enjoyed relative success supporting such bands as Million Dead, The Sound Explosion and Blueprint, this is the Berkshire band’s debut release for Lockjaw Records, working in the safe hands of SikTh producer Dan Weller. Described on the press release as “post-hardcore with a brain”

Opener ‘Open Shutters’ is a slow burner, with psychedelic guitar swirls and keyboard effects, soft vocals and technical drumming, a brave choice for album opener as it never really breaks out into the song it seems to be building up to. This is made up for in the second song ‘Through the Cellophane, an explosive opening riff and tight vocal melodies, pumping bass, in the tried and tested quiet/loud formula that rarely fails these days, offering slightly more in the way of an interesting acoustic mid-section with a wandering bass line that leads its way back into the heavy outro. Up next is ‘The Rise and Fall of Talking Small’, starting with off beat drumming and choppy guitars, intricate riffs during the verses with shared vocals, the song wanders along, taking unexpected twists and turns in different directions, I’m reluctant to use the unfashionable term ‘prog’ but it is hard to describe this track as anything else, it wouldn’t sound out of place on an Mars Volta album.

The, stand out is track ‘The Mannequins’, a quiet, piano lead two minute intro that eventually launches into a big chorus James Cooke’s vocals shining as he explores a vast range of emotions among crashing drums thumping bass and distorted guitars, with harmonising overtones. Mid-way song ‘Sinker’ slows the album down, taking a break; acoustic guitar strums along with interesting effects integrated.

‘Magnets and Mirrors’ is virtually indescribable, taking the album in a completely new direction, it is a psychedelic electronica trip with almost a Middle Eastern feel to the intro, with hand clapping and chiming guitars breaking into a trip-hop style tangle.
‘Eyes on the Horizon’ takes the album back to heavy rock, ‘Orb’ again, offers another new sound, this time an orchestral intro with a spoken word vocal track over a guitar and double bass, creating an almost unsettling futuristic feeling until uplifting harmonies take over, however the spoken word vocal continues. It makes for intriguing listening.

Towards the end of the album, ‘Forced to Relate’ is a middle of the road post-hardcore track, with heavy guitars with choppy rhythms, harmonising vocals and crashing drums, the song winds down into another soft mid section before building to another dramatic ending, intricate guitar lines and heavy drums before feeding into a quiet piano solo. Closing track ‘Simple Things Collapse’ bears a striking resemblance to ‘Make Yourself’ era Incubus, it is a full-throttle song, finishing the album with a bang, fist pumping vocals, head nodding riffs and excellent music changes and time shifts.

With Each track between 5 and 6 minutes long, it could have seem like a long winded, pompous attempt at a prog-style hardcore record and the samples and guitar effects could easily have been over used and cheesy, however I feel that Mydriasis bring a breath of fresh air to a genre that has become too obsessed with radio-friendly pop tunes and pin-up band members. ‘In Order of Appearance’ encapsulates all the best bits of prog, post-hardcore and even nu-metal to bring together what is an all round impressive piece of work, it may take two listens to fully appreciate, but this may well be the sound of the future for British post-hardcore bands.


Review by Jack
 Band Members
Mydriasis - Band
James Cooke (Lead Vocals)
Mike Evans (Bass/Piano/Vocals)
ria Laurie Ross (Guitar/Cello/Vocals)
Ben Bell (Guitar)
Lee Baker (Drums)
 Track Listing
1. Open shutters
2. Through the cellophane
3. The rise and fall of talking small
4. Sinrah inc
5. Mannequins
6. Sinker
7. Mirrors and magnets
8. Eyes on the horizon
9. Orb
10. Forced to relate
11. Inner city fields
12. Simple Things Collapse
 Band Related Links
Mydriasis Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?