Madina Lake - From Them, Through Us, To You
Record Label - Roadrunner Records
Release Date - March 27, 2007
Little do most people know, twin brothers Nathan and Matthew Leone of Madina Lake got their first taste of stardom when they appeared on a twin edition of the once wildly popular “Fear Factor”, an idea inspired by the urging of their friends. Although the Leone brothers told the producers they could care less if they made it on the show because they aren’t the “athletic type” the producers chose them anyway, which proved to be only the beginning of the wild ride that led to the Leone brother’s showdown with death itself. After dangling hundreds of feet in the air from a helicopter, chugging ground up cow parts, swallowing maggots, and traversing through trenches, the Leone brothers earned themselves $50,000 in order to jumpstart their band and a trip to the hospital to treat the infection they received from the competition. Staring down death to live another day, Madina Lake put their prize money towards equipment, a tour van and a demo that helped land them a slew of shows and a deal with Roadrunner Records.
Guitarist Mateo Camargo and drummer Daniel Torelli round out Madina Lake, a group named after a fictional 1950’s town from a story written by Matthew Leone. This town served as the inspiration for the bands demo, The Disappearance of Adalia, which chronicled the disappearance of the town’s most famous socialite named Adalia (obviously). From Them, Through Us, To You is an album that offers a glimpse into the nature of Madina Lake, people, and society and places them to hard rock music laced with electronica and pop undertones. Madina Lake waste no time getting down to business, opening their album with “Here I Stand” a song that is equal parts heavy, fast-paced guitars and pop sensibility. According to Nathan Leone, the track is about what a person would do if they realize they might not be able to realize their dreams. This blend of melody and aggression is the same kind that has launched the band’s peers onto the fast track of success, and may very well do the same for Madina Lake.
“Adalia” chronicles the disappearance of Madina Lake’s most famous socialite, Adalia, and her struggles with depression and anxiety even though she was the most admired girl in town. Madina Lake rips through this track with driving drumbeats and blistering guitar melodies, only revealing their pop smarts during the chorus. “Now Or Never” finds the band embracing their melodic side, stripping the feeling of gloom that comes with some of the other tracks and replacing it with catchy hooks and sing-a-long choruses that will have potential Madina Lake fans throwing their hands in the air and singing their lungs out. In my opinion, this song would have been a better choice for a single, rather than the darker and more experimental “House of Cards”. “River People”, a song about integrity, is the first track that truly utilized the type of diversity Madina Lake strives to achieve through most of their debut. Pulsating bass rhythms, a more experimental vocal approach, and drumming that is more subtle and expressive than the straightforward pounding that was prevalent in the earlier tracks make this a more balanced and fully developed track.
From Them, Through Us, To You closes with “True Love” , which starts out hushed with a dancy guitar riff, breathy vocals, and eerie program noises before erupting with an in your face swagger and returning to the heavier sound the album started with. The only problem is the screams in the song are barely audible, but when Nathan Leone begins to sing, the vocals are crisp and clear. Closing with a heavy song will leave the listener who made the entire auditory journey clamoring for more while maybe engaging those who found themselves hitting the “fast forward” button through some of the tracks.
After listening to From Them, Through Us, To You it is clear that Madina Lake have the potential to make a significant splash in the music scene with their refined blend of hard rock and pop sensibility that is currently burning up the radio waves. The story and themes behind the record are intriguing and sound like the basis for a truly great record; however, the songs do not always fully develop the ideas behind them. From Them, Through Us, To You is a solid album that is perfect for the occasional air guitar session, but is not without its flaws. Be sure to catch Madina Lake blowing the roofs off clubs across the U.S. when they tour with Halifax in support of their new album.
i was about to review this album myself, but you beat me to it. i was going to give them about the same score. the aspect that dragged them down by far the most are their lyrics. i personally think it should be a lot lower than 7.5 (like 5). other than that, i agree with everything you said. it's a great record, one of my favorites right now. if they get someone else to do their lyrics, this band will have limitless potential.
I saw the guys last year when they supported Paramore in the UK and instantly bought their EP. Got the album the day it came out and haven't stopped listening to it since. There isn't a single poor song and 'True Love' absolutely rocks! These guys deserve more recognition!