Madina Lake
From Them, Through Us, To You



by Neoteric USER (86 Reviews)
April 2nd, 2007 | 36 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Madina Lake make a catchy pop-punk album but fail to bring anything new to the table.

Madina Lake are a pop-punk/post-hardcore outfit from Chicago. They started off by appearing on the daring TV show Fear Factor. The brothers Nathan and Matthew (who do vocals and bass respectively) were dared by peers to apply for the show and were accepted on the “twins’ episode” the network had planned for. The 50,000 or so dollars could have helped launch their career but instead gave them some nasty rashes and pains. When the band started to tour, the ordeal the brothers went through just made them stronger and more confident on the road.

Their sound is very simple to point out. Madina Lake’s sound blends into the rest of their ilk, they take the hardcore out of synthesiser mad Enter Shikari, acquire the pop-punk goodness of My Chemical Romance and squeeze out the screamy part of Alexisonfire. It’s all familiar stuff and anyone who resides in the United Kingdom and goes anywhere near music channels will recognise leading single “House of Cards”. A first-rate choice for a single with it’s brain-munching chorus and teenage relative lyrics. The song is able to get into your head even if you despise the song. It is most unfortunate that the rest of the album doesn’t really differ from that one track. The only noticeable difference between them is either an upbeat or down in the dumps setting.

Everything is produced to the extreme, everything is so clear and there are absolutely no faults in the playing, I guess that’s what Roadrunner does to you. The guitarist is able to hold up fine on his own and brings the core melodies to the surface. What also contribute to this factor are the samples that are sprung throughout. The bass adds to the depth quite a lot and the drummer is solid but not particularly excellent in his field. Everything is fine apart from the vocals which grate my head so much I could make a grated skin sandwich (hey, when did I say I was good at metaphors"). It’s typical whiny pop-punk stuff and reminds me of the vocalist from Hawthorne Heights which is a band no one wants to be compared to. I think it’s time pop-punk got a few new ideas for a vocal style as it’s becoming so passé.

As you can guess, this album is flawed. This would be a cool, neat package if the production wasn’t so clear and pristine; the riffs weren’t so cliché and that the vocalist didn’t do the same nasally voice every pop-punk band has did in the past five or so years. There are some very well done tracks on here that are surrounded by mediocrity. Nothing here is outlandishly bad but things get bland, and they get bland quick. This is another fine example of a band that jumps on the bandwagon and will fall off it just as fast unless they innovate themselves. The album is saved by the ridiculously catchy songs such as “Here I Stand”, “House of Cards” and “One Last Kiss”. While it is catchy, they sure have some horribly insipid lyrics. Here is this excerpt from the best song on the album: ‘Now I can't look you in your eyes because the guilt is killing me. I try to disconnect my heart again just so I can breathe. I want to be myself again but I just can't cause’. On paper, it reads just like a form of angst-filled high school poetry and with Nathan’s nasally voice screeching and defecating the lyrics, it just makes it all that worst. This had the potential to be a great album but falls short by quite a margin. This doesn’t bring any new ideas to the table.

But why the hell does my opinion matter" The kids will love it anyway.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
April 2nd 2007


I remember hearing House of Cards and not being able to decide whether or not I liked it. But your definitely right in the fact that this band is mega generic.

April 2nd 2007


I saw them back in July on tour with Race the Sun. No one knew who they were, and I remember being the sole person to get anything from them. Still have their signed EP. I really liked them from their live set so I was rather lenient on the band as whole and their sound. Kind of bummed that they resorted to screaming, but I can't exactly say I didn't see this kind of rating coming.

Great review as usual, if a little simplistic. Closing line is ace and pretty spot-on.

April 2nd 2007


House of Cards annoys the hell out of me. Definatly a extremily generic band.

Good review.

April 5th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

this genre of music whatever it is, is in desperate need for something original and new (theres still some good bands out there). these guys are ok, but like you said they dont bring anything new to the table

April 6th 2007


I remember hearing about these guys about 2 years ago, and I just kind of forgot about them.
The fact that this is generic doesn't surprise me, as the brothers you speak of were in a Nu-Metal band named The Blank Theory. You might have heard their big singe "Middle of Nowhere". Their album, Beyond the Calm of the Corridor, wasn't bad...but *surprise surprise* very generic.
Metaphors aside, Great review.

April 7th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

kill me if you want, but i actually quite like thisThis Message Edited On 04.07.07

April 7th 2007


Well then prepare to die!

May 8th 2007


I like this band, however, their recorded/produced music and performance doesn't do their live shows good. They do put on an excellent show and get the smallest crowds moving but i do agree that their cd (well actually both) are very cliche and somewhat repetative. btw i have both the EP and this cd signed... just for the live show.

Storm In A Teacup
June 7th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I enjoy it. The vocal stylings for each song actually are mostly done quite well. They're not an extraordinary band, but still good for a few spins.

July 3rd 2007


Madina Lake's one of those bands whose name you hear tossed around all the time. unfortunately, they're music is about as memorable as a discovery channel documentary on carpenter ants.

January 25th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

House of Cards is the only thing on this album that really stands out for me and I really like it.

The rest of the album is decent but pretty meh.

January 25th 2008


seeing these on the kerrang tour. they sack along withevryone else playing there except coheed imo. im only going for coheed.

January 31st 2008


i loved both of their singles House of Cards and Here I Stand. They were also great at Projekt Revolution

March 27th 2008


this review pretty much affirmed exactly what i was thinking about them...

very generic. could be better. i have never seen them live, but will next week, and kind of assume they would be like story of the year (ironically, thats who they are opening for), in terms of their album not being all that great but probably putting on a good live show

July 28th 2008


Album Rating: 5.0

the album is ok , but roadrunner could do better

July 29th 2008


roadrunner has proven that they cannot do anything better they continue to sign worse bands tbh

July 30th 2008


Album Rating: 5.0

bunit9488 has a point. roadrunner is being a little simplistic when it comes to signing bands. anyone agree?

December 12th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

Really overhyped band! I think this album is ok, i bought it as liked the overall atmosphere of the original ep and all the songs on it were good. However the only decent tracks in the album were in the ep already, listened to this once. Giving this a 3 as I really like a few songs, despite the fact that the rest bore me.

December 14th 2008


^^^ One day you'll actually learn the true meaning of emo, instead of going off of played-out, inaccurate stereotypes.

Until then, STFU.

And "House of Cards" is awesome.This Message Edited On 12.14.08

December 14th 2008


Pandora is the best thing. Ever.

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