Charming things come in small packages.

Midwave Breaks is a two-piece independent alternative rock band from New Zealand. It is a modern take on the soundtrack of their youth – epitomized by ’80s-’90s alternative rock/pop – evoking hints of Springsteen. They are based in Tauranga and comprise multi-instrumentalist Bruce Conlon and drummer Paul Russell.

Standing Inside Out” is the band’s most recent EP, which consists of three tracks featuring beautiful vocals juxtaposed with classic rock to create a meaningful EP that demonstrates the band’s unique identity. As a classic rock album, I find the EP to be both warm and innovative, which is what I am looking for in such a piece of music. While you feel safe and at home listening to it, the band still steps on grounds no other band has done successfully before.

It’s impossible to mistake “Standing Inside Out” for anything other than a rock record, but it is unmistakably unique. The charming sonic setup created by this crew is also a perfect match for lead singer Bruce’s robust and assertive yet vulnerable voice. The instrumental part is reminiscent of the sounds you might hear from Springsteen or U2, but it feels highly personal with intimate songs played with sensitivity and near-perfect warmth in the production.

Standing Inside Out” contains incredibly creative songwriting, technical musicianship, and impressive instrumental solos and vocals. The EP opens with ‘All She Was‘ which gently strolls through familiar spaces, where you’re starting to revisit scenes of a love affair. It’s a track that deserves to be played loud, featuring aching beautiful vocals, and a rich guitar sound, and it’s mixed and produced appropriately. After all, while the tracks may have been recorded in a farmhouse in rural New Zealand, some were mixed in the U.S. by Grammy Award-winning engineer Mark Needham, most notable for his work with The Killers (Mr. Brightside) and Imagine Dragons.

Things become more reflective as the EP progresses. The title track combines refined maturity with unpredictable left turns to create such a delightful journey. The vocals are delivered with tangible passion while the instrumentals here are delivered with massive dynamic range. The track’s theme extends to wider human experiences teaching us how faith and hope should never be lost, as Bruce reflects ‘And when the lights fade/I will keep on waiting/While you′re making up your mind‘. But above all, it’s a testament to Midwave Breaks‘ inspiring skills and versatility.

I’ll dare say that closer ‘Away We Go’ has some psychedelic nuances all over, turning the single into such an excellent and multifaced track blending prog, atmospheric, and psychedelic rock for a uniquely uplifting trip. ‘Away We Go‘ is an antidote to those infected with bland music.

Standing Inside Out” is an EP of superb tracks delivered through brilliant musicianship. Truly a marvelous listen, featuring well-put-together and well-balanced three singles, and the live renditions of these songs will be fascinating to behold. Lastly, speaking of live shows, Midwave Breaks will be touring with Incubus in April 2024, so keep an eye out around New Zealand, because this band offers something for everyone, but most importantly, it is rock at its finest.

Follow Midwave Breaks on:
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Still can't tell exactly my origins because of my suspiciously ‘Chinese eyes’.