CD REVIEW: MiGGs – Insomnia
By Francesco Emmanuel - 04/17/2007 - 12:58 PM EDT
Insomnia is the second release by MiGGs, a four-piece rock ‘n roll tour de force that is ripping up airwaves across America. The band’s debut album, Anyway sold 11,000 copies via the net and live show sales. For this album, MiGGs secured a deal with 33rd Street Records (Tower Records).
The band doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed, and me personally I hate categorizing stuff.
So MiGGs style can be described as follows: - easy listening, straight up pop-rock, sprinkle some country and blues here and there, with well constructed vocal harmonies, throw in addictive hooks at every corner, (be it a guitar or a vocal line) and there you have it. Some feet thumping, radio blaring, time defying, sleep deprived, highly analyzed (lyrically that is) material that may well become classics someday.
Certain songs reminded me of Gin Blossoms (laid back, the good rock ‘n roll, no overindulgence, simple/clear cut tones). The production on this album was left in the capable hands of Gavin MacKillop (Goo Goo Dolls, Barenaked Ladies, Sugarcult); clearly this choice was the right one. The album is clean, all instrumentation blends smoothly, levels are just right, and tones cut through at required frequencies.
Most of the album was recorded, mixed and produced by Gavin Mackillop at FullKit studios, North Hollywood, CA. Mastering was done by Nancy Matter at Moonlight Mastering.
That’s the production of things, now what about the band. MiGGs comprises Don Miggs on vocals and guitar, Jason Gianni on drums (and piano on ‘Rest’), John Carta on guitars and Mark Baker on bass. Everyone sings backup, hence the reason for such strong harmonies. The majority of the material was written by Miggs himself with the exception of ‘Superhero’ (I fall apart) with lyrics written by Doug Crose/Don Miggs, and ‘It’s over’ lyrics by Sean O’Malley/Don Miggs. Miggs' bandmates are all credited with enhancing the material lyrically and musically.
Don has a strong mid-range vocal tone, his approach seems rooted in the blues, the choice of notes struck me and his use of vibrato did justice to the songs.
‘Suddenly Wonderful’ is an open letter Miggs wrote to his bandmates to ‘hang in there’ when things get tough; it has a steady beat to it. It’s a song of hope and dreams. ‘I know you’ begins with a more medium pace, the chorus repeats over and over, sinking in, speaking of relationships and lies and compromise.
‘Perfect’ came to Miggs one night after a gig, 2 a.m. Lyrics were penned in 15 minutes, simple and universal to us all; I recommend everyone take a read. It is the album’s first single and has been making heads turn on most CHR and Hot AC radio stations.
Check out the change in timing in ‘St. Rita’ highlighted in the bridge, which dives straight into a wah solo, repeating the chorus line ‘Saint Rita help me, I’m a mess’
Subsequently, the album’s title is taken from Miggs’ inability to sleep. The band describes the overall tone of the record as happy songs about sad things, but always with silver linings, reflecting something real about finding the balance amidst the imbalance of life and trying to understand the ways we all connect and disconnect.
The band has opened for Aerosmith and Kid Rock before 17,000 people at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, graced stages with Dishwalla, Lifehouse, and toured with Cake and Gomez for the Virgin College Megatour.
MiGGs has accumulated tens of thousands of friends on their myspace page and close to 400,000 plays. The guys are currently on tour in Arizona, then hit California and Florida by May/June.
So, if you find you can’t sleep, pick up a copy of MiGGs – they can’t sleep either, and for good reason – rock ‘n roll, every insomniac’s medicine of choice.
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