‘The Coast Is Clear’ Courtesy of Madaline

After taking a hiatus in the mid-2000s, Madaline from Denton, TX has been hard at work the past few years.  Following a release last year, these dudes (and 1 dudette) have released ‘The Coast Is Clear,’ a 6-song EP.  Let’s check it out…

 

  1. “The Coast is Clear”- Starting things off, is this lightning-paced punk number accompanied by an arsenal of horns. Armed with dual vocalists found in Mark O’Neal Kimberlin and Adaline Cherry, this tune is a rip, roarin’ good time!  Grade: B+

 

  1. “Vernal Concession”- Aside from the backing vocals, Ms. Cherry gets a chance to rock the mic in this next ditty. Classic third wave guitar with a horn line that you can’t get out of your head.  What’s not to love?  Grade: B+

 

  1. “Failing Me”- I enjoy ska of all sorts, but the danceable variety is what got me hooked in the first place. “Failing Me” is less on the punky side and features, not only smooth vocals, but a sweet trumpet solo as well.  You better do some stretches, because it’s skankin’ time.   Grade: A-

 

  1. “Where Do We Go Now?”- For some reason the vocals in this one seem a little more polished.  Mark sounds great here both alone and when harmonizing with Adaline.    Awesome song!  Grade: A

 

  1. “Fever”- Letting the horn section rest a bit, “Fever” is a sensitive punk number (okay, I’ll say it-“emo”). Despite not really being a ska song, this is a solid number.  I dig it!  Grade: B+

 

  1. In the Ether (Acoustic)”- Your standard striped-down end-of-the- album acoustic song. It’s okay.  Grade: C

 

I have a love/hate relationship with EPs.  On one hand, a band includes their best stuff with no “filler tracks” you sometimes find on a full length.  On the other hand, I feel a little let down, only because I want to hear more.  Both are the case for Madaline’s ‘The Coast is Clear’ EP.  For those of you that are regular readers, you know that I have a soft spot for bands with dual vocalist, especially when one is a guy and one is a lady.  This dimension, which Madaline takes full advantage of, leads to great variety in the vocal department.  Mark and Adaline can shine in their own rights, as well as when they share the microphone.  I enjoyed Mark’s vocals on the later tracks; he sounds better when he sings in a slightly higher pitch.  As far as the rest of the band, they do an excellent job at crafting songs which are not only enjoyable, but sound completely different from the one before it.  There are no two songs here that sound alike, from the heavier feel of “The Coast is Clear’ to the skank-worthiness of “Failing Me.” Other than the lackluster acoustic number at the end, my only beef with this album is that the horn section is muddled amongst the guitar parts in “Where Do We Go Now?” Otherwise they are on point for the rest of the album.  Not your usual ska-punk fair, Madaline does a great job and keeping things entertaining over the course of only 6 tracks.  Now if they would only release another LP…

 

Overall Grade: B+

 

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