Album Review: Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals

Credit: Martyna Wisniewska

Following up a killer debut record can be hard – but Muncie Girls smash expectations and then some on their new album. 

In 2016 Muncie Girls released one of the most critically acclaimed UK rock debut albums of the year (if not decade), and now they’re back with follow-up Fixed Ideals. On it, the band explore a more melodic sound, one that soars with its dynamics while still packing that punk rock punch.

The album was produced by Muncie Girls’ longterm collaborator Lewis Johns at The Ranch and mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge. It is personal, strong and shines oh so bright.

Vocalist Lande Hekt takes her personal experiences with anxiety and alcoholism and turns them into beautiful pieces of music. Recent single Clinic for example tells of her treatment for anxiety and the importance of seeking help. The music video for Clinic is based on Landis’ Facial Expressions Experiment, conducted almost 100 years ago. This experiment was conducted by Dr. Landis with a goal of discovering if all people had a common facial expression while feeling specific emotions in reaction to various objects and scenarios. Of course, they do not.

“It was a really fucking horrible time but I’m glad I wrote it down,” she explains. “This song is half about how important it is to get your mental health checked and ring the DAS, but it’s also about how long it all takes and how unbelievably underfunded it is. I have a lucky time with my mental health compared to so many people, and I have to think about how incredibly hard it is for so many people.” Hekt says about the track.

Falling Down‘s intro is light, almost airy with the light guitar and bright vocals, then picks up pace as the drums come in and breathe more life into the melody.

Fixed Ideals is melodically a ton of fun, especially tracks like Isn’t That Funny carry a wonderfully pop-y melody to it. Similar is Bubble Bath, although the background noise of actual bubbles is debatable. The song’s 80’s pop influence takes you right back into a John Hughes movie and makes you want to light those sixteen candles.

Shortest song on the album, but Locked Up truly packs a punch – pulling you right back from that cloud you were on and getting all up in your face. And just before the album finishes, Muncie Girls pull you back up onto Cloud 9 one more time with Hangovers. It’s a wonderfully fitting melody for its title (no one wants to listen to banging punk rock with a hangover, so mellow guitars will do just fine, thank you). Last but not least, Family Of Four brings the album to a close – with a huge chorus that’ll be stuck in your head for days.

Now go on and listen to this masterpiece of a record, love it, adore it, repeat it. You will want to.