Melanina –  Maff (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

849821There are many people in the English speaking world who are put off by songs, like lead single Desfile, which are not sung in their native language. I have two issues with this. One, how arrogant! Two, you are totally missing the point. Yes, lyrics and therefore language is a method of communication, but vocals are not the written word and are in themselves part of the sonic makeup of the music, an instrument in their own right. Add to that the fact that Maff set their vocals in the musical middle distance, above the beat but often swathed in swirls of guitars and other musical trappings, it becomes clear that direct communication isn’t the main thing that they are trying to achieve with their vocal deliveries. Maybe we should appreciate the sound and not worry to much about the sentiment.

Melanina combines the raw and blasted jagged edged beauty of The Jesus and Mary Chain, the more grunge infused drive of Dinosaur Jr. and the modern mindset of The Editors. It wanders between fragile soundscaping and walls of garage rock weight. It gazes both skyward and, ironically, at its own shoes, is musically intense and intimate yet expansive and all-consuming.

Whilst Hawaii drives on pulsing bass lines and staccato beats, and Appear wanders down some fractured but melodic highways, sitting alongside Desfile at the more conventional end of the   record, opener, Act 2, is a strange and beguiling piece, twisting and turning through progressive structures and wonderfully wandering dynamic shifts.

Effects heavy bands often use their technological building blocks to bludgeon the listener, to try and convey the grandeur of the new musical age or possibly soundtrack its destruction. Maff sit somewhere between; sculptors of hypnotic dreamscapes and sonorous bliss in a musically apolitical age. Ecstasy but without the clubbing!

 

Advertisements

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑