Band: Modest Midget

CD Title: Crysis

Band Website:

Label: Multi-Polar Music

Release Date: 2014


This is the second album for the Netherlands based Modest Midget, a musical project that was masterminded by one Lionel Ziblat whose musical talents have seen him working in musical spheres outside of the rock world. However he maintains more than passing interest in contemporary music and with such varied influences it’s not surprising his music with Modest Midget falls more into the Art Rock style with plenty of proggy embellishments. Modest Midget consists of Lonny Ziblat (vocals, keyboards, piano, guitars, percussion, programming), Willem Smid (drums) and Maarten Bakker (bass, keyboards). Then there is the added musical input from: Dimitar Bodurov (accordion), Yael Shachar (violin, viola), Tristan Hupe (keyboards), Jurriaan Berger (keyboards, programming), Eduardo Olloqui (oboe), Emiel de Jong (sax), Sanne Vos (recorders) and Anna Zeijlemaker (flutes). It’s a varied line-up that creates a rather fun and inviting set of compositions that prove to have a good shelf life.


Crysis features twelve compositions displaying an incredible musical variety. For example we start off with “The Grand Gate Opening” [1:53] a rather straight forward symphonic synthesizer solo that builds hauntingly and dramatically proposing something grand and panoramic only to switch gears with track two, “A Centurion’s Itchy Belly” [4:34] which starts out like something off a Split Enz album and then proceeds to go through more stylistic permutations than you can imagine all presented in a jaunty, up-tempo happy go lucky, cartoonish feel. Next up is “Rocky Valleys of Dawn”, the album’s first vocal track and it again displays a Split Enz, New Wave feel, up-tempo and rocking without the heavy crunching guitar. There’s even a Ska version of the Roy Orbison 60’s classic “Pretty Woman” [2:25]! There’s no question all of Ziblat’s musical schooling in those other genres finds a welcome home in his unique approach to contemporary pop music. It’s all very hooky, all very catchy and hummable and yet full of intricate instrumental virtuosity and complex compositional craft.


Modest Midget have taken a noticeable step forward following up on their first release, delivering a great set of tunes that will appeal to fans of Arty music full of proggy influences and embellishments. There are so many great moments on this disc and so much more the reason to recommend it. If you’ve never listened to Modest Midget I urge you to check’em out. Recommended.