Madina Lake
World War III


4.0
excellent

Review

by simonpettersen USER (18 Reviews)
January 9th, 2012 | 18 replies | 3,577 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

World War III is the third album by Madina Lake and concludes the story arch the band started on their debut release, “The Disappearance of Adalia”. The band sets its music in a fictional town from the 1950s isolated from the rest of the world that's been turned upside-down with the mysterious disappearance of their most famous socialite, Adalia. The music provides an outlet for the band's views on politics, culture, and the media's obsession with celebrity status.

Previously the band has put out two EP’s, two albums and one live album. From my perspective it’s an impressive discography. Wherein their debut “From Them, Through Us, to You” is one of my all-time favorite albums. In 2010 however the band put out a six track EP called “The Dresden Codex”. This was from my perspective a bit of a bump in the road for the Chicago based post-hardcore/pop punk outfit. The EP was average at best and had few memorable songs. The lack of quality in the songs might have something to do with the band leaving Roadrunner Records and putting out a self-released EP, I don’t know. The only thing I know is that it wasn’t a particularly good release. In ways same can be said about their second album “Attics to Eden” which was much more commercial pop inspired album which includes if not one too many fillers. I enjoy the album, but when being critical, it has it’s obvious flaws and doesn’t live up to their debut.

But, seeing how they are one of my favorite artist, and even though they’d put out a bad EP and a poppy second record, I was excited to hear the new one. I’m going to be honest, I prejudged this whole album, mostly due to, The Dresden Codex, but also the albums opener “Howdy Neighbor!". It is one of the weaker tracks on the album. I personally think the opener should be a powerful track that gives you a taste of what’s to come. “Howdy Neighbor!” falls short in every way. It doesn’t impress nor does it give you high hopes about the album. It doesn’t sound finished and is plain boring. Fortunately, the album catches up on the second track “Imagineer” which is everything “Howdy Neighbor!” isn’t. It’s heavy, it’s catchy, it’s groovy, and it has a chorus that will stick to your mind for a while.

Madina Lake’s previous albums “From Them, Through Us, to You” and “Attics to Eden” both followed a certain pattern in their sound. Where “From Them…” is an intense and in your face record, while “Attics” is an up-beat and catchy record. With that said, it doesn’t mean every song on their each respected albums always was intense or up-beat, but you can clearly without a single problem tell from which album they come from. In “World War III”, Madina Lake’s sound is all over the ***ing place. In cases like their 2010 EP “The Dresden Codex” this would be a bad thing, but Madina Lake have truly stepped up their game and made a record that stands out from what they’ve given out previously. You have tracks that have a similar sound to “From Them…” like the album’s second single “Imagineer”. You also have tracks that have a similar sound to “Attics” like the up-beat and relaxing “Take Me or Leave”. That is except for the rapping part by Dave Casy, I didn’t really see that one coming. Hell, you even have some flat-out metalcore worship on the track “The Great Divide”. And yes, there are also songs that have a similar sound to “The Dresden Codex”, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise seeing how “They’re Coming for Me”, “Heroine” and “Hey, Superstar!” all are taken directly from the EP. Thankfully, these were also the bests tracks on the EP.

World War III truly features some of the bands heaviest songs like the in your face “Blood Red Flags”, but also some of their poppiest, like the dance song “Fireworks”. That one really sounds like some mainstream song you’d always hear in the clubs… ‘Til this point I’ve mostly given the album praise, but that’s not to say that the album only has good songs, because we also have songs like “What It is to Wonder”, and oh my God that track is horrible. It’s a shame, because it builds up as if something cool is going to happen, but then the worst chorus every written by Madina Lake kicks in. It’s full of energy and is simple and straight forward and boring. Live however, due to its intensity I can imagine it being a more pleasant experience. We also got slow and emotional tracks like “We Got This”. At first listen this song will be a pleasant joy, probably the second time around as well. It’s simple and sweet, but after a couple of listens this is one of the tracks you probably will be ending up skipping. I’m not saying it’s a bad song, because it’s not. I enjoy it quite much, it just isn’t memorable compared to songs like the up-beat and catchy “Across 5 Oceans”. “Hey, Superstar!” suffers in fact the same way with not being memorable, if not even annoying. I personally can’t stand hearing lead singer Nathan Leone scream out the chorus too many times before I wanting to kill myself.

As songwriters Madina Lake have grown, A LOT. Every member of the band now feels equal, seeing how they all play an important part in the structure of each song, instead of just Nathan Leone (vocals) and Mateo Camargo (guitars) running most of the show. World War III is diverse, yet original and still stays true to the overall “Madina Lake sound”. In ways you could call this a greatest hits album, as it features parts from anything they’ve ever done before, and then some more. It gives the band a fresh breath of life which they have sorely needed ever since “Attics to Eden”. I hands down never imagined “World War III” being this good.

Recommended tracks:
“Across 5 Oceans”, “Imagineer” & “Heroine”



Recent reviews by this author
Deuce Nine LivesThe Rasmus The Rasmus
Destine IlluminateInsense Burn In Beautiful Fire
Chris Medina What Are WordsParamore Singles Club
user ratings (27)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
January 9th 2012



9511 Comments


I liked the review, only heard/have Attics to Eden from these guys - cool to know the brother recovered ok from that beating way back when.

Digging: Ayria - Hearts for Bullets

simonpettersen
January 9th 2012



272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. You should check out their debut and this one as well! Not saying you should avoid the EP's, just don't expect too much out of them. Oh, on their two first releases they still had screaming vocals, so if that's your thing...

Tyrannic
January 9th 2012



3229 Comments


"Previously the band has put out two EP’s, two albums and one live album."

second item in list needs comma.

"From my perspective it’s an impressive discography. Wherein their debut “From Them, Through Us, to You” is one of my all-time favorite albums."

awkward, maybe a comma after perspective and a semicolon instead of a period?

"In 2010 however the band put out a six track EP called “The Dresden Codex”."

common problem you have: use commas to set off those introductory phrases. it helps the sentence read easier when you know where to pause. you do this a lot.

"But, seeing how they are one of my favorite artist, and even though they’d put out a bad EP and a poppy second record, I was excited to hear the new one. I’m going to be honest, I prejudged this whole album, mostly due to, The Dresden Codex, but also the albums opener “Howdy Neighbor!"."

you're supposed to try convincing us that you're objective. admitting that you had biases is a nono. nono.

either way commas commas commas.

simonpettersen
January 9th 2012



272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, will try to work on it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2012



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was the other way. I preferred the EP. Plus, 3 of these songs were on that EP... & I didn't mind the 3 songs that didn't make it here. I think it was 'A Beautiful Life' that I really liked.

simonpettersen
January 9th 2012



272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A Beautiful Life is actually the japan bonus track for WW3 Maybe I didn't give the EP e fair chance, should probably check it out again. That's what changed my mind about this album, so...

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012



6736 Comments


bands annoys me, make it stop.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 10th 2012



10194 Comments


second item in list needs comma.


Oxford comma debate, grammatically it's fine.

awkward, maybe a comma after perspective and a semicolon instead of a period?


Why are you giving grammar advice when you don't know that the period should be a comma, not "maybe [...] a semi-colon"?

But yeah, you should read up on comma usage, Simon. He's right about that:

"But, seeing how they are one of my favorite artist, and even though they’d put out a bad EP and a poppy second record, I was excited to hear the new one. I’m going to be honest, I prejudged this whole album, mostly due to, The Dresden Codex, but also the albums opener “Howdy Neighbor!"."


This paragraph is pretty much pointless; I don't agree with Tyrannic about "trying to persuade people you're objective" but at the very least don't do the exact inverse; it's like this paragraph is intended solely to discredit your whole review, which seems a bit... odd.

simonpettersen
January 10th 2012



272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, will do.

Tyrannic
January 10th 2012



3229 Comments


"why are you giving grammar advice when you don't know that the period should be a comma,"

because the internet is for learning, and porn. thanks for the advice.

Spec
January 11th 2012



26846 Comments


I might listen to this out of curiosity.

Storm In A Teacup
October 27th 2013



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album great band

Pheromone
October 27th 2013



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

decent enough album from a band who had 1 great album.

Digging: The Flaming Lips - 7 Skies H3

Storm In A Teacup
October 27th 2013



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Which one is your great album? I rated every one a 3.5

Pheromone
October 27th 2013



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really enjoyed their debut LP "From Them, Through Us, To You" enough to even give it a 4/5 but I feel like they dumbed down alot of the stuff that was already dumbed down in these latter LPs

Storm In A Teacup
October 27th 2013



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the singer has an amazing voice so that's more than half the reason I like them a lot. The debut is probably my favorite as well.

PANDORA DUDE!!

Pheromone
October 27th 2013



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

YES!

That's by far my favourite song of theirs, heck even the lyrics on that song are borderline 3.5, his voice really is distinguishable and I do also like that about them, Maybe I'll re listen to this again sometime soon as I rated this whilst I was still jamming pretty hard to the debut.

Storm In A Teacup
October 27th 2013



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice

I'm listening to this right now and it is basically on par with Debut, but they have tighter moments on this especially the last half. The hidden track is boss. There are two b-sides I haven't heard that are coming up soon too I'm excited for.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy