Madrepore Stuck In Identity Crisis
Madrepore, having changed its line-up and producer, flaps around on its second full-length album, Overblown, searching for a style on which it can soar. The band goes from indie rock to pop, Latin rhythms to punk, occasionally gaining enough lift to glide, then crashing back to earth under the weight of its own inexperience.The title track is a generic piece straining for indie cred that could have been filler on any Creed album. Things improve somewhat on â€šÃ„ÃºPictures,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a song with disturbing imagery, pummeling guitars, and a rapid-fire beat, but the band still canâ€šÃ„Ã´t get sufficient air under its wings.
However, a breakthrough comes in Madreporeâ€šÃ„Ã´s pop and Latin songs. â€šÃ„ÃºThe Part of Me Youâ€šÃ„Ã´ve Thrown Awayâ€šÃ„Ã¹ sheds the sonic booming for a more melodic, college-rock vibe. â€šÃ„ÃºCanâ€šÃ„Ã´t Get You Outâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is a guaranteed earworm; its prophetic and simple lyric, â€šÃ„ÃºCanâ€šÃ„Ã´t get you out my head, baby!â€šÃ„Ã¹ and its infectious riffs wriggle around the brain quite pleasantly. The Spanish track, â€šÃ„ÃºDejame Ser,â€šÃ„Ã¹ with its gritos and bouncy tempo, is a Latin alternative gem. And â€šÃ„ÃºFuyu no Ame,â€šÃ„Ã¹ which is played on a koto, a Japanese stringed instrument similar to a zither, provides a beautiful interlude.
Unfortunately, Madrepore winds up grounded by an inability to establish a musical identity. Downer chords and angsty lyrics fill the rest of the album, such as the undistinguished punk of â€šÃ„ÃºPut A Hole Through Meâ€šÃ„Ã¹ or the unfounded bombast of â€šÃ„ÃºAnomie (The Blues Armada).â€šÃ„Ã¹
Overblown definitely shows Madrepore has potential, but only if the band can quit flailing about and hone its strengths. By ditching the alterna-drone and following its pop and Latin instincts, Madrepore could become a high-flying act.