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Madina Lake

From Them, Through Us, to You

(Roadrunner; US: 27 Mar 2007; UK: 26 Mar 2007)

Roadrunner Records, one of the cornerstone American metal labels, has dabbled in other genres from time to time, most notably talented cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls, but just why the hell they would take a chance on an emocore band like Madina Lake defies logic. The Chicago foursome’s debut full-length is an uneven one, full of simpering post-hardcore tunes that drip with syrupy pop melodies, yet is sporadically peppered with adventurous little musical excursions that have us wondering if the label just might be on to something. There’s a lot of mainstream-friendly fare that cater to the Warped Tour masses, like instant pleasers “Here I Stand”, “Now or Never”, and “One Last Kiss”, but there are instances on From Them, Through Us, to You that hint at some Muse-style audacity, as heard on “Pandora”, “True Love”, and “House of Cards”. Unfortunately, Madina Lake plays things far too safely, relying too much on trite bubblegum hooks, and not being daring enough to produce something more lasting. They’d be better off ditching the carefully-coiffed comb-overs, too, lest labelmate Zakk Wylde comes along and tear them a new one.

Rating:

Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff's Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll, Knoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly, JackMagazine.com, StylusMagazine.com, and StaticMultimedia.com. A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


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