From Los Angeles, Madrepore, come out on Overblown heavy like with an intersting tone, nice feedback and treatment on the rhythm guitar. But, then it drops into a standard break that takes the edge off. Then, you start to notice the really produced sound. Produced by Gavin MacKillop (goo goo’s) this album has a very clean sound. It’s so polished it disappears on you at times. The edge is in the playing of the heavier riffs, and, the interesting noises/sounds that break out some. I love the whisper voice on the title track Overblown and was listening deeper for some more kinds of interesting sounds.
This power pop/rock verges into the heavier sounds too rarely and the mystery is not hidden. When there is a tone or a piece of a song that has some grit, a wah wah or feedback, it too quickly fades into standard big chorus/overslicked. All of the playing and singing is done in a set so cal tradition of straight ahead.
On the other hand these songs don’t sound so unlike what we hear on the radio everyday in Southern California. And, they do have a lot of friends on Myspace. The Brand New Joy koto song brings some serious rellief amidst the straight ahead riffing. So does the singing in Spanish on a few of the tracks. Sometimes there are some really nice sounds and a punk moment. But, overall it falls back onto a formula. When it steps away from a generic sound you can really hear Madrepore better.This band would be more interesting live, where you could feel the energy. There are some songs you can bounce to, I really love the drumming, and some sounds that perk you out.