For Fans Of
Adelaide’s Mara Jade seem like the type of band you would want to hang out with. Dudes who like to party, and have a good sense of humour, while providing you with a good soundtrack.
These assumptions are based purely off the back of their debut self-titled six song EP release, which will give you a pretty good idea of what they are about. While no new musical roads are being paved, you are coming to the party because the beer is cold, not because it’s imported from Uzbekistan.
For a small outfit on a budget, the recording quality of the EP is fantastic, with local producer Luke Day doing a great job at giving the band the big sound that they so clearly need, while keeping definition among the instruments.
Opening track That Bitter Wold/Sleep When I’m Dead leads in with vocalist Heath Chapman’s raucous screams and a wall of frenzied guitar lines. The energy is set at eleven from the word go by drummer Ryan Schultz’s direct assault, which somehow manages to lead the track. The latter half slows the pace right down while Chapman screams “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” making the opener one of the standouts.
The feedback led Widowmaker takes its time getting started with the vocal lines seeming a little too generic to make this song a favourite. Things pick up again though for the southern rock influenced Our Collapse, which explodes with a steady pace, being driven by its groove heavy guitar lines. The differences between this track and People In Glass Houses Sink Ships seem minor, with the exception of the clean vocal breaks, but both songs sum up the energy of this band well.
The EP closes on DronesDronesDrones, another highlight that shines in its crushing mid-section.
Mara Jade have come out swinging with an EP that is relentless and rarely uninteresting. If they can uphold this intensity on a full length, there will be little that can stop them.
1. That Bitter Wolf / Sleep When I’m Dead
3. Our Collapse
4. Dirt And The Dollar
5. People In Glass Houses Sink Ships