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Madina Lake
Attics To Eden
Roadrunner Records
www.madinalake.com


"Madina Lake is an American Rock band formed in Chicago, Illinois." Ah, leave it Wikipedia to really only give you the basic info. Yep, ML sure enough is from Chicago, but they've also been rocking the rest of the States' faces off for the past 3+ years. With their first official full-length introduction being From Them, Through Us, To You they managed to snag the attention of Bamboozle and Projekt Revolution (being hand-picked by Linkin Park themselves). Now that we've gotten full of the first LP, the boys have released a top-notch sophomore album.

Attics To Eden made a Cinco de Mayo entrance to the market and ironically this album is quite perfect for the partiers. "Never Take Us Alive" was their first single and the first song off the album. The energy that builds just within those first 10 seconds is incredible. The computer effects adapt the song perfectly to the theme music in the next John Woo action sequence. Those effects, coupled with lyrics like: "You'll never take us alive!" complete the sentiment perfectly. After having some time with the album, this song started as my favorite and remains such. "Let's Get Outta Here" takes things to a different movie style. The effects at the beginning have a sound that almost resembles a high-pitched scream; a scream that would fit in a horror film and, oddly enough, lyrics that fit again: "Come on, come on, I say let's get outta here." As you listen more the screams are merely a guitar technique, but that technique came from the alternative rock style that has mixed with nearly pop-tempoed choruses. Your body's doing a little boogie, while at the same time it feels a head-bang coming on. It's a tad tricky. I'd have to say that my second favorite song would be "Legends." The song starts with a great hip-hop feel, the mellowed bass goes low and soulful while Nathan's sultry vocals move along to the beat of hand claps. Eventually, the song softens and goes a bit lighter, only to turn around and grind down to the meat of it. Again ML knocks out some amazing lyrics that not only get etched into your brain, but evoke a few key emotions. I slid down to "Not For This World" because if you've ever wondered what three different genres sound like mixed together, this is the song you need to hear. The beginning simply has a few guitar notes strummed ever so delicately, with a hint of some more effects in the background, from this you'd think the song is a step in the Angels And Airwaves direction for some soft arena rock music. However once the vocals chime in, the tempo picks up to more of a Linkin Park style (Minutes To Midnight-era). The guitar morphs to an entrancing melody that, when set with the chanting vocals, eerily sounds like Nathan is performing some sort of incantation. That all quickly goes away with the presence of the chorus, set to that characteristically ML pop-punk sound. It may sound confusing, but it's actually quite fun. When a musician echoes out his guitar, it takes a different approach to alternative music. That's the method used in the beginning of "Silent Voices Kill" and yet again, this band came up with a very cool way to do music. In this one, you get a chance to see just how this talented group cleverly inserts perfect harmonies, inside an otherwise normal alternative chorus. "Friends & Lovers" spends its first twenty seconds as purely percussion set secondary to delicate computer-generated notes. Nathan's vocals carry you through nearly an entire minute of the song. The song never really deviates from the tip-toe melodies with which it began, even through the chorus, which pretty much only adds strengthened percussion and computer sections. The last twenty seconds end just the way the first twenty started, delicately. "Lila, The Divine Game" has its own version of effects that set the stage. But for the last song, they add a bit of a harsher tone to the guitars and drums. Even without any lyrics, somehow you still find yourself banging your head, just slightly. This one I can see floating around in Jerry Bruckheimer's brain.

Naturally, this album sounds a bit different than the first. But with the talent you heard on From Them... you wouldn't expect anything less. And I didn't even mention the album art, that's something that needs to be seen in person. This is a set of songs that have such strength you could easily see them featured on the big screen.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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