According to their Facebook page, Harrisonburg band Middle Part have been described similar to “Lightning Bolt, but emo.” Their new single, titled “Teeth,” is definitely bass-heavy and definitely emotionally charged, but there is a refreshing absence of “dudeness” in this punchy package of a song.
The track starts slow and mysterious, with drummer Tristan O’Shea’s cymbals reverberating dissonance as strings are tuned and detuned until a thriller of a lead riff from guitarist Daisy Wiley comes rushing in, followed by pulsing bass and drums. Singer/bassist Judy Hong yelps out vocals, non-apologetically demanding “teeth and breath and legs and brain reify/reassign blame/validate me/do you think before you talk?”
The band erupts into a cacophonous brawl of sounds and crisis, followed by a nicely timed breakdown. Hong switches from outward demand to dejected breathiness, whispering “sifting through this face/my throne, my shame/say the names of those you forgot when you put me in my place.” More rightful demands ensue with the same catchy riff from before, “do I look impossible to you?/does that make you uncomfortable?” echoes over again, a jarring reminder of the necessity of confrontation.
“Teeth” is premiering ahead of the four-way split with Middle Part, Yaya, Lushloss, and Sarah Snider. This split, out on November 8 through Pretty Records, highlights the nuance and diversity of gender-varying, East Asian-American artists within the realms of the underground/art/punk music scene.
Middle Part is touring with Dove Lady from Nov. 9-13. Check out the dates/event links below:
Wed, Nov. 9 – Harrisonburg, VA @ Crayola House
Thurs, Nov. 10 – Athens, OH @ She Wolf Haus
Fri, Nov. 11 – Columbus, OH @ The House With No Name
Sat, Nov. 12 – Oberlin, OH @ Big Blue
Sun, Nov. 13 – Pittsburgh, PA @ City Grows