The Melodramatics recipe for a good record has the perfect balance of reggae s walking bass line and punk rock s distorted power chords. Their self-titled album is reminiscent of 90 s punk rock in many ways. Their use of filtered vocals and confrontational, sometimes story telling lyrics, remind me of classics such as the Misfits. But their application of fast paced offbeat guitar chords of many songs has me thinking Sublime first thought.
The most pivotal point of this album for me is the vocals. I dig how well the vocals bend with the melody throughout the album, but there were occasions that the filtered sound effect got on my nerves. Be careful of every seed you sew, what you didn t know is I got room to grow, often gets implanted in my short term memory from one of my favorite tracks Grow Room, in which the lyrics refer to rebelling against oppression both by the government and societies unwritten rules.
The musical side of the album is superb. Nothing bores me more than a lack of variation in any album s entirety. The distortion is turned on for a hefty amount of the guitar work which adds to the punk element of this album. It made the solos that much better. My favorite solo is in A Better Tomorrow in which the screaming guitar is accompanied by and blends fantastically with the horns section. The keyboards are pretty basic in terms of reggae characteristics; often only functioning as the skank or offbeat. In the heat of some faster paced songs such as All Day, I am impressed by the various walking basslines that accompany. It helps create a happy go-lucky-like setting that many Cali-reggae bands induce.
This album is raw. It basically fuels off the basic instruments, not using many special effects or fake instruments of some computer software or keyboard setting. They work it very well, but I think it could only benefit with some reverb or echo on the guitars and keyboards.
Goodbye is also one of my favorites, which serves as more of a Get Out than Goodbye to an ass of a friend. From what was not on their early 2010 EP, Mouth, a cover song of 90 s one-hit wonder Merril Bainbridge, is a perky rendition of the song that reminds me of being at some paradise, mentally or literally. If you enjoy Cali-reggae, definitely find a way to purchase this album or download a three-song sampler from The Pier s MP3 Massive section if you would like a taste!
Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi--The Pier