I must admit that the first time I heard this album I was not impressed. I listened to about five or six of the songs skipping from tune to tune on my way home. It was late, I was tired, and I was not paying very close attention to the lyrics let alone the instrumentals behind them. I turned the CD off half way home and made a decision against it.
The next day I was talking to some good friends of mine in the band Borrow Tomorrow and we began discussing the album. They had listened to about as much as I had and were uncertain of their thoughts as well. I agreed with pretty much everything they said and we went on with our days. I didn’t think anything more about the album until later that week. Borrow Tomorrow was playing a benefit concert at the Music Mill located right here in Indianapolis. It was for the Livestrong Foundation, which is Lance Armstrong’s cancer research organization. There were six bands playing that night ranging from hard rock covers to original rap beats. Borrow Tomorrow had the middle slot but melting faces before them was Mardelay.
I had been told these guys (and gal) know how to put on a good show so I stepped out from back stage to take a quick look. I wanted to get the full Mardelay experience. And playing a show like this I knew they would be rocking out at full force. I only caught a couple of songs as I had to help Borrow Tomorrow prepare for the evening but what I did see was quite impressive.
I grabbed a hard copy of their album before the night was over as everything I had heard was digital. I wanted to see the whole package before I could make my mind up on whether this band was all they are cracked up to be. On my way home that night I tossed in the CD with an open mind. I wanted to let the album tell me whether or not they were good, not the critics. Actually, a trusted MC here in town, The Deuce, said this album was the single best album to come from Indianapolis in a long time. I had my doubts, but that sat in the back of my mind the whole way home.
The album starts out on a high note with a track guaranteed to get your foot moving. From track to track, this band knows how to tell a story. They do so in a matter of minutes as the longest song on the abum is not even five minutes. By the time you are on to track number two, a song titled “Now!”, you are ready to start singing the lyrics. They toss in a little ambient music in the background but keep the tempo going with some underrated drums. Matt Street, the guy on lead vocals, knows how to test his voice. He hits highs, some lows, and takes you on a roller coaster of sounds as he sings through this album.
The next track, “Light On”, is currently in a tie for my favorite song on the album. The lyrics are so honest that it makes me want to grab my pen and paper and write an album myself. Again, Matt’s vocals are stretched on this track to new levels. You are hit with an intense guitar solo in the middle of the song from their lead guitar player, Henry French, who is also from the Indianapolis based rock band Henry French and the Shameless. He is that same Henry French.
The next track (I promise to not talk about every song on the album) is the another favorite of mine. I said that he gets his voice to lower levels on this album and this is about as low as he gets. He brings a feel of James Blunt to the microphone on this one and matches the talent in my eyes. Then you are hit with the best transition into a chorus that I think I have ever heard. The transition hits a few more times throughout the song and gets better every time. There is so much high in this song that I usually hit repeat when this song comes up.
The rest of the album is filled with monumental tracks like “Destroy” and “Replace Me”. These songs bring a whole new meaning to the word talent. These guys really do understand what it takes to sell albums. Their artwork, on top of all of their musical talents, is some of the best I have seen on a local level. They produced the album with Scott Rainey at The Hit Department and had it mastered by Steve Creech. You can get the album on iTunes as well as at any of their random Indianapolis shows. I highly recommend not only picking a copy up for yourself but also for your closest friend. This album has what it takes to push these guys to the next level, whatever level that may be. I have become good friends with these guys and I hope that their success continues to rock as much as this album.