Great Portland Street
The Middle States pull together elements of power-pop, pastoral folk, hints of new wave and British Invasion to worship at the altar of rock. 'Great Portland Street', the debut EP by Middle States fearlessly crosses the line which separates mimicry and cheap imitation from tribute through pure distillation. Multi-layered vocals and guitars soak the tracks 'In My Head' and the wave-y 'This years Model' knock off 'All the Voices' while the acoustic 12 string guitar holds down the Elliot Smith nod, 'Big Decision'. 'Melrose Flats' is an up folky number which dares not hide it's Rubber Soul. 'Coming to' brings the folk and the rock together, while 'The Promises' continues that trend, getting moodier while adding the painterly Hammond Organ and Chamberlain Strings by guest keyboardist Pete Sands (Honeydogs). The Middle States are all Minneapolis rock veterans; singer guitarist Wes Morden bassist Peter Fleming, drummer Craig Gallas and singer guitarist Ben Glaros, * ' All the Voices' chosen to appear on 'International Pop Overthrow' 2004 compilation * Middle States appear on Double D Records '- A Tribute to Elliot Smith' covering the song 'Waltz #2' * Reviews for 'Great Portland Street' 'Conclusion: I really like this CD. I like pretty much everything about it. Middle States have produced (from both a musical and recording standpoint) a really great sounding little disc. It even got better the more times I listened. Middle States are a Minneapolis-based 4-piece band in the usual arrangement (two guitars, bass and drums). Highlights of this 6-song CD include clean, up-front vocals singing smart lyrics in a poppy folk/rock setting. Unfortunately, that statement doesn't really do justice to how spectacularly easy this disc sounds. Nothing sounds forced, rushed or affected. I love that. I just love it. I hear far too much stuff that sounds shoehorned into a specific style or whatever, but this comes across as perfectly natural. An awesome trick if you can do it. At the Demorama Enclave, I always say it's better to have a short demo and leave us wanting more than giving us too much of something we don't like. This definitely falls into the "I want more" category. Unreservedly recommended. (Conrad Teves) -demorama.com november 2005 '...Wes Morden writes indelible songs and his power-pop band pulls them off with strength and style-BAM '... his songs sort of come across like Buddy Holly and Aztec Camera covers the Clash. Very classy work.-Cake '...Beatles meets Byrds power-pop' -Minneapolis Star Tribune ' ...All in all, Wes provides great lyrics, great harmonies, and definitely has what it takes to be a hit.-Cake.