My first experience with Middle America is one of regret. They were to play following Carpenter Ant during Globefest a few years back, and since I had to drive back to the shore for work the next day, I left without seeing them, only to read about how great they were on LVPR. Luckily, I caught them a month or two later and really dug what they were doing: Short blasts of songs about self loathing and depression that would have your head spinning before you realized their set was over.
"Scars" is the latest release from Middle America, containing three tracks of paranoia, anxiety, topped off with an unhealthy dose of autophobia...and it is awesome. The vocals are the rawest that I have heard on any M.A. release and while the sound has a definite early 80s vibe, there are a lot of different tempo changes and styles thrown in to keep things interesting. "Every Night" is the a-side, and it moves a long with the ocassional stop-n-start, finishing with Josh repeating "every night" filled with disgust over a sick little guitar run. The b-sides are even better. "Reclusive" starts off with a haunting little guitar part, only to smash you in the face seconds later; it slows only to assault you again as it thrashes through your speakers. "Scars" is the final track. It winds along with a slower rhythm thanks to a Black Flag-ish guitar, oozing bad vibes and dirty looks. By the end you almost feel bad for enjoying a record built on someone's issues with the world, but you can't help putting the record on again and again. Feeling bad never sounded so good.
Middle America also has a record out on Home Invasion Records, which you should probably pick up too.