Midwxst: Better luck next time. EP album review

About 30 seconds into “riddle”, the first single from Midwxst’s new EP, better luck next time. a sunny guitar riff is swallowed by a distorted 808, metallic snares swap places with rock drums, and Midwxst’s mannered emo rap warps into a whine. “Don’t say you never knew me, ’cause you don’t know my pain,” he sings with overwhelming intensity, his voice scratching the bass like sandpaper. The pyrotechnics don’t last, however; the guitar and campfire applause soon returns, and we’re in the arms of a pop song again. Midwxst relishes maximalist beat drops and Juice WRLD-meets-digicore cocktails, but on better luck next time.he tweaks his frenzied breed of pop-trap into a more digestible package without giving up his disruptive energy.

Indiana-raised rapper’s newest project last year Back to action EP, was largely a furious rap record. Inspired by Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert, Midwxst ditched their sad boy posture with exuberant punchline flows over euphoric synths and thunderous bass kicks. I can do this also he seemed to growl throughout the EP, and i can do that better than you. In a post-All Lotta Red world, where a lot of furious rap has been, well, bad, Back to action looked like an artist developing the Carti model. As successful as the project was, it was clearly not Midwxst’s preferred mode of musical expression, which is why better luck next time. feels like a return to form, a more authentic application of his melodic gifts.

The EP depicts a teenage breakup in suspended animation, a space where rationality dissolves and pain rips through the body like a switchblade. Each song is about an amorphous ex, the one who spews lies, sends malicious texts, and hurts our protagonist for the thrill. On the pop-punk-inspired “car seats,” Midwxst inhales a whiff of her ex’s scent and recalls how she emotionally broke him; on “Misery,” he hurls insults at an ex who keeps blowing up his phone. He’s a magnetic singer, singing these scenes with animated angst, his nasal timbre dipping in and out of different cadences. And though the tormented romance becomes draining – nearly every song recycles tropes about “leaking” and feeling “sick and tired” – the thematic and emotional coherence work to solidify the narrative while the beats constantly bend in the wrong direction. new forms.

The production adds essential anxiety and urgency. “Switching Sides” sounds like a Drake song on LSD, an exhilarating emo-trap banger with bass so huge it threatens to obliterate Midwxst’s wonderfully catchy hook. On the braking-assisted “okay”, a handful of live drums and glitchy trap snares collide with beeps, squelches and electric guitar to form a dizzying maelstrom of technical and textual incongruities. Unlike other ascendant hyperpop artists, such as glaive and ericdoa, whose sounds have moved closer to center as their spotlight has widened, Midwxst’s music retains a fundamental weirdness that is neither too strong nor too understated. .

better luck next time. ends with “in my mind,” a melodramatic yet heartbreaking emo pop ballad. Even when the writing falls into ineffectual bromides – it always runs away – the song is saved by Midwxst’s commitment to performance; the pain it expresses is in a place beyond language, and it is visceral, even intoxicating. In a streaming economy with no shortage of dull, genreless songs, it’s exciting to hear an artist jump so deftly through styles, from flexible Uzi-style raps to pure pop. His dexterity allows Midwxst to stand out in the ever-changing world of hyperpop.