A Million Years- Mischief Maker
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: June 18, 2010
A Million Years are a Brooklyn quartet that formed in 2007. Mischief Maker is their first full-length. The album was produced by Shannon Ferguson of Longwave. The band has toured throughout the east coast and has played in NYC rooms such as Bowery Ballroom, High Line Ballroom, Bowery Electric, The Studio at Webster Hall and The Mercury Lounge. Venerable NYC radio station WRXP recently added the band to their playlists.
How is it?
Tremendous. How can a band this talented be unsigned? Every passing second of Mischief Maker bristles with professionalism, substance and commercial appeal. Like a lovechild of Interpol and As Tall as Lions, Mischief Maker bursts out of the gate with anthemic album opener, "Holy Ghost Town." Melodic, radio-ready and fully rattling, it's the first harbinger that this talented foursome is indeed a quartet of bonafide talents.
From there, it's one veritable hit after the next. Keith Madden's voice is like a siren, rising one minute and lilting the next. Every intonation and utterance is deeply felt, centrifugal and hypnotic. He hangs on to vowels and spits out consonants with so much force, every second is like a blessing. The music itself is dotted with Coldplay-esque melodicism, U2-ish ethereal guitar textures and the supple, soaring vocals of Madden. There's plenty of kinetic drums, splashy bass and old-fashioned rock energy. "By Yourself," is rousing and hopeful, while "Love is a Room," throws in Madden's vocal gymnastics, Nick Webber's guitar muscle, and an air-tight rhythm section.
On the jittery and hip-shaking "Suspicious," the quartet displays their Manhattan swagger and never once disappoints. "Poster Girl," is for all intents and purposes the album's apex as Madden once again goes for the throat and the song's jangly and jingling stab at merriment is blissful, welcome and undeniably infectious. "Fortune," is hushed and lo-fi, giving the group an intimate and earnest moment to take a respite and wade in the austerity of a cinematic organ and gentle acoustic strains.
"California Smile" is propulsive and thick, drawing on Webber's guitar clatter and the muscled work of bassist Andrew Samaha and drummer Andrew Vanette. Penultimate cut, "Incandescent," features a full-scale chorus, layers of Mancunian textures, electric samples and a plaintive French horn. The haunting and funereal closer "Dirt in The Ground," allows the band a chance to offer up soft melancholy, emotional directness and an unabashed sense of whimsy unlike few others currently making music.
And yet for all its triumphant moments, the very best part about Mischief Maker may be its brevity. In an age when bands and musicians feel compelled to throw in everything but the kitchen sink and stack discs with filler and hissing noise, Mischief Maker is short, sweet and to the point. Never once does it linger, never once does it labor, and never once does it disappoint. It is in many ways, one of 2010's biggest surprises and a most welcome addition from a band criminally under-the-radar. Brooklyn, you've done it again.