At its best, Magdalene’s second studio effort convincingly amalgamates elements of punk-pop and a very the sound-sphere everyone calls techno with an energetic blend of guitar lines, shifting time signatures and keyboard patches. Although the end result can feel a bit aberrant at times, when the foursome score ”“ as on their popular single ”˜Place of an Angel’ ”“ they score big, with ear-grabbing hooks, soaring background vocals and meaty lyricism that sometimes threaten to overwhelm the melodies. It’s an almost-eventful record, occasionally grand, with whiplash-inducing break-outs that dip into Seventies guitar rock and Rascall Flatts-esque aesthetics. If you have a soft spot for Richie Sambora’s and the Edge’s guitar technique, as well as the contemporary throwback rock of Creed, and have waited in earnest for a band that plays to express and not to impress, Mizoram boys Magdalene might just have the cure for what ails you. Songs like the grizzling ”˜Kan Fak Ang Che’ and the vibrantly spirited ”˜A Phatsan Law’ng Che’ burst out as anticipated, but areas of welcome experimentation appear as well ”“ a clear departure from the days of their debut release Life Beyond Death.
The moment of sublime bliss, especially in terms of songwriting comes in on the sixth track, ”˜Sunday Pump’, which is probably the best song that Magdalene has ever written, and maybe one of the best of 2010. Taut and insistent single-picked guitar manoeuvres and a throbbing bassline steer the verse into a percussive chorus, driven by Steward’s encrusted Matthew Bellamy-like vocals and trashcan drum freakout. Very little about this album is docile. It’s not recommend this for everyone, but if your musical tastes are edgy, this is definitely worth a listen.
Key Tracks: ”˜Sunday Pump,’ ”˜Place of an Angel’