Album Review: Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals

Exeter based trio Muncie Girls have been of the most important UK bands in the past few years, and now they’re back with a new record Fixed Ideals…

The band’s previous LP From Caplan to Belsize, released in 2016 on the ever so great Specialist Subject records, is a record that holds a special place in my heart. It’s a firebrand of a record fizzing with ideas, heart and energy that has stayed on my record player since its release. As things have got rapidly worse politically and socially, From Caplan to Belsize has served as a constant reminder to never give up the fight, to do what you can, persevere and band together in tough times. In other words, a record that embodies the ethos of the punk fuelled guitar pop it can be seen as fitting in with. So naturally the release of a new LP by the Exeter trio is cause for excitement, and Fixed Ideals is an album worth getting excited for.

Opener ‘Jeremy’ immediately sounds bigger than the songs found on From Caplan to Belsize, another guitar now thrown into the Muncie Girls mix that adds another layer of melody into an already infectious setup – a trait that can be heard through the rest of the LP. Lyrically the song rallies against lead singer Lande Hekt absentee father and their right-wing beliefs, the line “I’m so angry I’m going to get a tattoo that says ‘Fuck Jeremy Clarkson and fuck you too’” is one that deserves to be shouted along with every single time. Personal, political and powerful, ‘Jeremy’ sets the precedent for Fixed Ideals and the rest of the record delivers wonderfully on it. ‘Picture of Health’ feels like a clarion call for caring communities and networks of friends – a frequent and familiar call in trying times – while ‘Clinic’ is a sadly relatable tale of reaching out for mental health support to be greeted by a vastly under-funded system. In a year that feels like raging tire dump fire that refuses to go out, what Muncie Girls have created on Fixed Ideals is vital – a sobering look at the world’s problems coupled with the fury to try and fix them.

We need bands like Muncie Girls and records like Fixed Ideals to remind us that there are things worth fighting for, to pick us up and re-energise us when the world has beat the fight out of us. It’s going to be a long haul but we can make things better, and Fixed Ideals is a testament to that.