Publisher: Festival/Mushroom records
Wed, 19 January 2005
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48May are an act that launched onto the NZ music scene in early 2003. I was fortunate enough to meet one of the memberâ€™s girlfriends in passing and she pointed me in the direction of this extremely talented pop-rock act.
Launching onto the scene in 2003 with their single â€śFightBackâ€ť 48May captured the attention of all music lovers in NZ and quite a few over here might I add. Next up came a string of tours with U.S. act Alien Ant Farm and many others, followed by a couple more singles. â€śThe Mad Loveâ€ť is the culmination of all these efforts.
â€śLeather & Tattoosâ€ť is the opening track from this debut release. Starting things off are some blissfully poppy vocal harmonies which get you thinking of some less reputable â€śboyâ€ť bands. Donâ€™t let this fool you, the song breaks into a jumpy punk riff smothered in glossy lead guitars. Next up we have â€śThe Windowâ€ť. This is one of my choice picks. It has a less â€śpunkyâ€ť feel and leans more towards the Foo Fighters/Weezer sound that made me fall in love with this band in the first place.â€ť Come Back Downâ€ť, 40Mayâ€™s 2nd hit single is next on the agenda. Again this track is a smoothly written, brilliantly performed piece of rock music with amazingly catchy vocals and guitar lines. Following â€śCome Back Downâ€ť we have â€śAlwaysâ€ť. A bouncy, punky, yet amazingly dark song which reminds me of bands like SUM41 and Blink 182. It truly shows the bandâ€™s ability to chop and change styles while keeping a particular theme and sound.
Up next we have the excellent â€śHome by 2â€ť, this bandâ€™s latest single. Slipping back into the vanilla pop-rock song structure as smoothly as they slipped out of it, youâ€™re carried into a song of immense emotional feel, catchy vocal hooks and blisteringly massive rhythms. Exercise caution with this track, itâ€™s the kind of song that gets stuck in your head for days at a time. As if itâ€™s an inconsequential thing the bands debut single â€śFightBackâ€ť sneaks in as track #6. This is the track that started it all, and in my humble opinion is still the best song on this record. â€śFightBackâ€ť has that amazingly simple 3/4 time signature that has proven so successful for bands like Weezer, The Hurts and Foo Fighters, and it works just as well here.
â€śPokerfaceâ€ť is up next. Itâ€™s the sort of song that at first seems like it could slip by unnoticed, that is until the chorus breaks. â€śPokerfaceâ€ť goes from a seemingly lamenting pop track into something which is again, surprisingly dark and dissonant yet retains an element of fun. Track 8 is â€śPassing Byâ€ť. Another toe-tapping catchy-as-buggery tribute to pop-punk acts everywhere. The chorus is simply something that digs in and gets under your skin to become another tune which youâ€™ll be humming all day at work. â€śMexicoâ€ť follows â€śPassing Byâ€ť and seamlessly slips the band back into that Early Blink 182-esq punk sound. Smothered with delightful harmonies and with a funny little prank on the vocal line â€śtelephone delayâ€ť which actually has a really irritating delay effect on it, this song is a real party starter.
Throttling back a little is â€śTake Your Timeâ€ť. This is another â€śFazz-Recommendedâ€ť track. Jon Austin really shows his flare for emotionally heavy lyrical work here, backed by CaptainHookâ€™s brilliant guitar work and Jarod and Shanâ€™s thunderous rhythm section. This song gets darker and darker as it moves along before breaking back into its wonderful chorus for the finish.
Second to last we have the utterly awesome â€śSpinning Aroundâ€ť. This song shows the amazing songwriting ability of 48May. Itâ€™s a smooth tear-jerker of a rock ballad to rival the most incredible rock ballads you know and love. This would be my second favorite track on here. I donâ€™t care how many of their website forum members say its crap, this song absolutely rules. Finally we have â€śInto the Sunâ€ť, the excellent closing track to an excellent record. This one really feels like a closing song, I donâ€™t know what it is. Not to say it lacks anything. More to the point itâ€™s probably one of the better written and arranged songs on the album. It has verses that carry you into a world which the brilliant chorus confirms with the line â€śI used to think about the times I could talk about itâ€¦â€ť. Closing out the song is one of my favorite songwriting methods, dropping all the music and having just the chorus with a guitar and a solo vocal line, which breaks into the whole band rocking out. This record couldnâ€™t have finished with any other track. And if you listen closely after a few minutes one of the boys mentions something about doing porno, but Iâ€™ll leave the rest for the listener.
As a debut album this one takes the cake. Written and Performed by 48May and Produced by Greg Haver and 48May, â€śThe Mad Loveâ€ť is truly a pop-rock record par-excellence.
Visit 48May at www.48May.com.
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It will have the kids rocking and making out and have everyone else amazed at what 4 guys from Hamilton, NZ can accomplish in 2 short years.