Album Review: Muncie Girls - Fixed Ideals

"The delicate tone of Lande's vocals are cathartic and weightless."

Anxiety, a venue fire, the prison system and claustrophobia, these are just some of the issues that you will find addressed on Exeter-based punk outfit Muncie Girls’ second studio album, ‘Fixed Ideals’.

The three-piece - comprised of Lande Hekt, Dean McMullen and Luke Ellis - have come a long way since their debut gig at The Cavern in the city in South Devon, in 2010, and so it was only fitting that after a blaze raged through the birth place of the band that they would pay tribute to it on the record.

‘In Between Bands’ sees Lande and co in mourning of the beloved venue and feels like they’ve lost a child with the line, "Gone is everything I've ever had."

The delicate tone of Lande's vocals are cathartic and weightless throughout.

The title track has the political motivation and personal input of a Slaves (UK punk duo) song, but the singer's voice is emotionally laid-back and retiring, like someone whose given up hope on society, not angsty and in-your-face.

As well as politics, Lande draws on personal relationships for inspiration.

The opening track 'Jeremy' is a "big fuck you" to her father, who left her and her mum, and features relatable lines like,“I’m so angry, I’m gonna get a tattoo that says fuck Jeremy Clarkson and fuck you too!"

The song 'Clinic' sees Lande reflect on her experience of seeking help for anxiety and vent her frustration at the lack of funding for mental illness.

The record is hard to fault, with Lande even picking up the bass and guitar to add more power behind their sound.

But one track that really propels this three-piece to new heights is 'Locked Up', which we stumbled upon on Apple Music's The A-List: Rock playlist, and initially drew us to give the full record a listen.

Watch: 'Locked Up':

It's very much in the vein of artists like Canadian indie pop stars Alvvays and LA rock trio Best Coast, who we applaud for their rousing feminist power anthems.

What ties Muncie Girls' debut LP 'From Caplan To Belsize' to their second outing, is the influence of the poet Sylvia Plath.

'Fixed ideals' is from the line "perfume, politics and fixed ideals", and the first record is also inspired by the work of Sylvia, who tragically took her own life in 1963 after battling depression throughout her life, and was renowned for her Pulitzer Prize-winning confessional poetry.

'Fixed Ideals' is not all doom and gloom, though, as there is also room for tracks like ‘Laugh Again’ and ‘Picture of Health’, which prove a problem shared is a problem halved.

Rating: 8/10

For Fans Of: Best Coast, Alvvays

Words: Lizzie Baker