Earlier this summer MS MR suddenly appeared with an intriguingly dark, industrial-sounding pop song, "Hurricane," and an odd video abundant with retro images
to go along with it. At the time we knew hardly anything about this group, and now we only know a little more. MS MR is a New York-based duo of Lizzy (the missus) and Max (the mister). Sorry, no last names yet. But if their first official release, Candy Bar Creep Show
, is any indication, we're going to keep trying like hell to learn about these guys.
Judging the other three songs based on the preknowledge of "Hurricane," your expectations will be both met and skirted. The inner turmoil that Lizzy presents with wonderful staccato in "Hurricane" is present throughout the album. By all means, MS MR is not afraid of being morose -- they actually seem to like it, just look at the song titles. In her ghostly but familiar voice, Lizzy drops lines like "marinate in misery" ("Bones") and "bury us alive" ("Dark Doo Wop"). And again like "Hurricane," the songs of this EP are instrumentally voluminous. From the mining sounds on "Hurricane" to the driving percussion on "Ash Tree Lane" to the orchestral synths on "Dark Doo Wop," these songs have an impressive wealth of layers.
What's a little more surprising; what can't be gleaned from "Hurricane," are MS MR's leanings toward stadium-sized songs. On "Bones" and "Ash Tree Lane," the duo takes on the sound of a sepulchral Florence and the Machine. That sort of easy ambition on display here suggests that this mysterious band has an infinite ceiling. Just imagine what they could accomplish with a full-length album.