Mi Ami | Watersports

Quarterstick (2009)
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  February 9, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars

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After a contentious stint with DC rockers Black Eyes, Daniel Martin-McCormick and Jacob Long moved west to clear their heads and take control of their musical destiny. Their new project has much of the same visceral energy of their old gig, but Mi Ami present it in a much more harmonious, affirming manner.

On Watersports, Martin-McCormick, Long, and drummer Damon Palermo marry the rhythmic insistence of gamelan and dub with the provocative frenzy of punk. The rhythm section rules, as Long and Palermo lock into each other tightly on "Echononecho" and "White Wife." Their intricate, hypnotic grooves reassure and relax; it's up to Martin-McCormick, on vocals and guitar, to shatter the languorous atmosphere, and he peppers the songs with vicious unsettling stabs of distorted guitar and hellacious squeals.

On "Pressure," his shouted, cracking falsetto and mantra-like repetitions contrast with his mates' consonant backdrop, but his presence is vital to making the album more than just a polite affair. The differing styles create the right kind of tension.
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