The Kindred
Ms. Mary Mallon


4.0
excellent

Review

by William Hughes USER (17 Reviews)
September 10th, 2008 | 44 replies | 8,867 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hey...this sounds familiar...yet different...

7 of 9 thought this review was well written

Recommendations. The situation is there are a bunch of bands you really like, but you don't know where to go from there. What do you do? You make a list asking for recommendations and put a band you like down in the hope that you will find another band similar to the artists you like, that can bring out the same thing inside of you as the original artist you love did. The thing is, you don't want a carbon copy of the original band. In reality you are hoping to find a band like the original band, but one that gives you something else. Today I Caught the Plague could be seen as a recommendation band for Protest the Hero, due to the variety of similarities between the two. With their debut EP, Ms. Mary Mallon, Today i Caught the Plague (TiCtP) display their influence but also carve a niche all their own.

So, what do these terribly named Canadian bands have in common? Most noticeable is the vocals. Vocalist Dave Journeaux uses the same basic approach as Rody Walker (high-pitched singing, yells and growls), and he too proves to be the star of his band. His singing sounds like the child of Rody and Darroh Sudderth (Fair to Midland) with more hardcore-ish screams than Rody's and more guttural growls (though too few of them for this reviewer). Ben Davis and Steve Rennie's guitars are also similar to PtH's, technical, keep you on your toes riffage but with a twist (more on that later).

These guys sound awfully like a rip-off, why should I look into them? The reason is because these similarities don't tell the true tale. What makes Ms. Mary Mallon and TiCtP themselves interesting is how different they are both from PtH and other technical metalcore acts out there. Where PtH's appeal comes from their, almost non-stop aggression (minus the interludes) and"hey where did that come from" climaxes, TiCtP are willing to build up to their climaxes rather then just hit you in the face with them out of nowhere. They are willing to include soft passages not just segueing between sections of the album, but during songs, which works to both catch the listener off guard and accentuate the heaviness/insanity of the fast parts. Take "The Artisan Movement." Beginning with an all-out blazing assault of screeching vocals and speedy riffs, the song gives way to an acoustic-driven soft passage that then leads to a build-up resulting in one of the best moments of the album with Journeaux screaming his head off and the keys contributing beautifully to the moment. It then gives way to growls, synth and a beautifully song chorus finally leading to key-driven outro.

That is not the only time Matt Young's keyboard play drives the music to new levels. On almost every track, his play adds that little extra "wow" factor. Never breaking his fingers on the keyboards, he plays to fit the music. His solo in "Columbella" alone makes the track and at the one minute mark in "Dead Girls Don't Smile" the entrance of the keys during the chug-fest is so restraint and minimalist, yet perfect, that it becomes one of the highlights of the album. Eventually this track leads to a moment that can only be described as beautiful with perfect vocals, keys, and musical backdrop perfectly restrained that gives way once more to an onslaught of aggression. That's really the key to the EP. TiCtP's willingness to see their ideas through while still changing things up at the drop of a hat.

Though this EP is most often brilliant, some flaws do pull down the effort and show the band's lack of reaching their full maturity. The vocals are very hit or miss and could irk many a listener, especially because of how high in the mix they are. The bass is often lost in the mix, which hurts the experience because when it's audible, it fits well. The prouction in general leaves something to be desired but it still delivers most of the time. Otherwise, not much in the flaw category. The album really lacks anything incredibly obvious.

Ms. Mary Mallon by Today i Caught the Plague is a surprisingly refined album. The band knows what they want to do and do it exceedingly well. Though having similarities to technical metalcore acts, most notably PtH, they are able to produce their own unique sound by sticking with ideas, building to climaxes, and catching the listener off guard with soft passages that are well-orchestrated as a balance to the heaviness and are also superb in their own right. The EP demonstrates that the band uses their elements well and have a bright future ahead of them if they maintain the things that make them unique. It is a perfect recommendation to Protest the Hero fans because it gives the listener exactly what they want, a band that feels very similar right away, but that when delved into is a completely different beast.



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
willfellmarsy
September 10th 2008



3849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,Protest the Hero comparisons,

botb
September 10th 2008



9631 Comments


This sounds worth checking out. Good review.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2008



17204 Comments


I guess i'll have to check this out. SHAKAZULU!

P13
September 10th 2008



1327 Comments


From my home town, never saw them (poop) but was always interested in them

Oh, and it's CanadianThis Message Edited On 09.10.08

jrowa001
September 10th 2008



8750 Comments


ill add this to my to get list. good review

willfellmarsy
September 10th 2008



3849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks guys...btw album is streaming on myspace
www.myspace.com/todayicaughttheplague

armfarm
September 10th 2008



576 Comments


my friends band just opened for them, but then again so did like 7 other bands

P13
September 10th 2008



1327 Comments


They need better recording quality

I like this a lot because of the experimental parts in itThis Message Edited On 09.10.08

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008



15903 Comments


Good review. I'll check it out just like everyone else ;)

P13
September 10th 2008



1327 Comments


conformist
//_-)

Ampersand
September 10th 2008



111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow. Really good stuff here. 4/5 for now only because at times the vocals don't fit.

P13
September 10th 2008



1327 Comments


Objection

willfellmarsy
September 10th 2008



3849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yea this is 4.5 for me but my objective review review is objective will remain 4...This Message Edited On 09.10.08

kattunlover69
September 10th 2008



1194 Comments


today kattunlover69 caught the plague

TICTPmike
September 10th 2008



2 Comments


Hey everyone,

I play drums for the band and I came across this review and had to correct some stuff quickly.

I don't know where this info came from but, Matt Belanger, our old bassist, had no part in the writing process minus a few bass lines. On the Ms.Mary Mallon EP, myself and Dave were the writers.

Upon finding our final line up, we now have very strong writers and I promise good things from our new material!

Thanks for the kind words and we are all happy you enjoy the music!


Mike & TICTP

This Message Edited On 09.10.08

willfellmarsy
September 10th 2008



3849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry bout that i'll fix it now...and i'll post the page that had the false

http://www.discogs.com/release/1409019

page is kinda confusing with the bass [performer] and bass and the music by portion makes it seem like he did most of it...sorry for the misrepresentation but your lack of band page kinda makde checking facts hardThis Message Edited On 09.10.08

TICTPmike
September 10th 2008



2 Comments


Hey,

That's cool man! Yeah if you know where that came from it would be sweet to give them a heads up that it's wrong.

Thanks very much again for the review! Hope to see you at a show sometime soon!

Mike & TICTP

willfellmarsy
September 10th 2008



3849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks for the negs guys...i'd neg this too if i could but you can't rate ur own reviews...small price to pay for the community thread being named, "Who is willfellmarsy and what does he do?" for 20-40 mins

AngelPhoenix
September 10th 2008



2764 Comments


two negs? this review is good wth

rasputin
September 10th 2008



14538 Comments


who is willfellmarsy and what does he do?

rofl

have a pos for making me laughThis Message Edited On 09.10.08



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