Your Hazy Psychedelic Indie-Rock Needs, Fulfilled – ‘Broken Ties & Stolen Lines’ [Review]

By Daniel Thomson

Dundee psychedelic indie rock band Midnight Alleys released their first single of 2021 titled ‘Broken Ties & Stolen Lines’ on the 8th of February. The band consists of Neil Morrison (Vocals/Guitar), Matthew Kermally (Lead Guitar), George Mackenzie (Bass), Fabio Whyte (Keys/Vocals) and Ben Connelly (Drums). This track is another unique and fresh foray into the Scottish scene from the group. 

Nevertheless, ‘Broken Ties & Stolen Lines’ cannot simply be dismissed as just another genre-fitting indie song. The powerful track starts off with a hazy, vibrato wave reminiscent of MGMT before unexpectedly rolling into thundering drums as the members tease what they are about to phase into for just under three minutes. This tune gives each individual instrument a second in the spotlight in which the raw talent of the Dundee five-piece bounces between and compliments one another. The band play to each other’s strengths on this single and push each other forward without a second of anyone overpowering or outshining another member. 

Official Music Video for ‘Broken Ties & Stolen Lies’

Not a single piece of songwriting in this track is unintentional. As the strong, snarling and ear-seducing vocal reaches the hook, the left channel guitar and Manzarek-esc keys echo the melody before breaking down into scratchy-indie overdriven rhythm guitar, blended with charging funky bass, shuffling crisp drumbeats, playful dancing keys and woozy wah-wah lead. Vocalist Neil’s control and pitch is prevalent in any of the trippy lyrics which shine through the song. With clear hints of Gallagher and Turner, his vocal is still unique in its own way and truly brings an already great instrumental full circle with a powerful and memorable voice.

Compared to the other Midnight Alleys tracks, the lyrics are slightly less decipherable, but this is hardly a critisicm as any change to the snarling vocals could perhaps compromise their strength. Aside from this, the bass could be slightly more prevalent as it is clear some supreme riffs are being laid down beneath the surface. However, George’s skill is still very obvious in the mix and alongside Ben, the rhythm section drives the backbone of the track. Fabio and Matthew freshen up a vintage psychedelic sound and enhance the song greatly.

‘Broken Ties & Stolen Lines’ truly shines after two minutes, sixteen seconds in which the whole band take part in a guitar solo. The strength of the slick lead guitar is supported by each instrument in a section which leaves the listener imagining themselves watching these five lads command the crowd once restrictions are a thing of the past. Ending with a walkdown and some cymbal crashes, the song demands that the listener immediately listens to every other available single from the boys. 

The talent is there. The songwriting proficiency is clear. The sound is tight. 

‘Broken Ties & Stolen Lines’ is an impressive and dynamic tune. These guys are not to be overlooked. 

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Published by Daniel Thomson

I am a 19 year old undergraduate student at the University of Glasgow currently studying English Literature. Alongside this, I front a Glasgow-based indie rock band called The Zebecks.

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