" The Midwest Beat are a peculiarly elusive beast. Upon listening to their new LP “Free of Being” (Dusty Medical Records, Wild Honey
Records) one gets the sense of history, but not in a specific sense; rather, in the sense that these four musicians have absorbed several
generations worth of music, and are determinedly reconfiguring it to their own ends. Hints of classic country & western, early '60's
beatpop, straightup '70's rock, powerpop, and modern Americana all find their way into the mix: Listeners will find different touchstones, sometimes in the space of a single song. However, these touchstones will no doubt be different for each person, given the fact that they are far from obvious, depending more on feeling and emotion that outright thievery. The Midwest Beat have come a long way in their
ten year history; which is to be expected from a band who have released three previous LP's, along with a half-dozen EP's and singles on no less than 8 different labels. “Free of Being” was recorded on all analog 8 track equipment by producer Kyle “Motor” Urban, in common with all of their previous recordings.
One way that “Free of Being” both surprises and challenges is in the brevity of its songs. Many bands would take the opportunity to turn a song like the gorgeous “Panther in the Sky” into a 7 minute epic, but the Midwest Beat's under three minute take perfectly captures the
song's essence without beating it into the ground. Only two of the LP's songs break the 5 minute mark, and those both smack of “live in
the studio” joyousness. The inclusion of three instrumental interludes titled “UFO's Appear” helps to buoy the album."
- Keith Brammer (Die Kreuzen)
★ ★ ★ ★
" The Midwest Beat has been around for close to 10 years. During that lengthy tenure—in which the band has amassed three full-length albums (and nine releases in all)—its sound has shifted, augmented, and developed considerably. The Midwest Beat’s 10th release and fourth LP, Free Of Being, sees the veteran Wisconsin music constant somehow still turning over new sonic stones, and expertly navigating through a variety of styles.
Recorded by Kyle Urban with analog equipment, the 14-song effort pulls influences from classic rock, power-pop, country, and even a subtle nod to vintage punk. With its three-singer rotation, and songs that range from jangly 32-second instrumental “UFO’s Appear #3” to seven-minute upbeat AM radio single-turned-psychedelic departure “Connection To The Dream Lodge,” and a heft of harmony-laced two-minute jaunts (highlighted by Tim Schweiger-led “Vortex Hole” that hearkens back to his Yesterday’s Kids days; and bleary bar close anthem “High Life”), Free Of Being is far from a model of consistency. Rather, it’s a testament to The Midwest Beat’s versatility and its unwillingness to occupy one specific sound for too long. More than anything, though, it’s a joy to listen to."
- Milwaukee Record.
★ ★ ★ ★
" Sweethearts of the Milwaukee Rodeo, The Midwest Beat rides again with two more saddlebags full of smashy twang-pop, “Apology Accepted” b/w “Appaloosa.” Sidestepping the perils inherent in being a gaggle of Upper Midwestern plaid-shirt-wearers with an ear cocked towards the Americana side of the spectrum ((i.e., sidestepping BoDean-esque limpness at all costs)), the Midwest Beat manage to fuse the disparate elements of punk, twang, power pop and Bakersfield-esque country-rock into a cohesive attack that evokes the spirit of smart Brit chaps like Graham Parker as often as it does Graham Nash or Gram Parsons. “Apology Accepted” is a Loud Pop classic and wouldn’tve sounded out of place on a Bomp! Records 45 from three decades ago ((or, for that matter, a Trashmen Play Hollies album from a late 60’s musical hallucination come to life)); “Appaloosa” gallops more to the country end of things and has lyrics about women and a mountainside and that sorta thing. Save yourself the apology; buy the damn thing."
- Rev. Norb Rozek
★ ★ ★ ★
" Not a pop band in the sense of contemporary pop-punk or power pop, mind you. The Midwest Beat live in a chronologically distant world where precise song structures, jangling guitars and tight vocal harmonies ruled the day. Big Star, The Byrds, The Kinks and the Zombies are their regular touchstones, bands whose own careers were at their peak a decade or more before the foursome's members were born."
- The Isthmus