Pop Punk With A Feisty Bite

With a theatrical intro that gets you in the mood for something truly spine tingling, Madina Lake are making a bold statement. Their music comes, with the dramatic flourish of a My Chemical Romance-esque razorblade, from the veins of the dark blend of emo that is emerging from the likes of Paramore and Alexisonfire. 'From Them,Through Us, To You' is more than a youthful rock escapade, behind it a complex story of the disappearance of a girl named Adalia in a 50's mining town named Madina Lake, this intrigue draws in fans as adeptly as the cool melodic hooks.

Madina Lake indulge in their fair share of pop punk tunes, like 'Me Vs World', a fine, but fairly standard mix of anthemic cries and brawling guitars. Far more exciting is 'True Love', an electro-tinged tune with all the necessary angst in its discordant keyboards before a screaming chorus erupts like a beast from within with a cacophony of guitar notes writhing around like a python. The sparkling, 'House of Cards' with its melodramatic wails of, "I'm afraid to be alone", is a definite highlight and has hit written all over it.

'Stars' is a mystic power ballad, if ever such a thing could exist, peaking from a softly spoken promise that, "Someday we'll have it all, you and me are going to be stars", into a blazing rock romp with a bolshy bassline and more than a breath of mesmeric melody. 'River People' takes 'mystic' into 'creepy' with its tense percussion and echoing guitar lines, which seem to inveigle their way into your brain. Tunes like this make you take the emo accusations back; Madina Lake's music has far more of the dark experimental side of groups like Cooper Temple Clause than many of their label mates and it stands them in good stead for success.

Another slightly unusual morsel is 'Morning Sadness', a lilting lament with vocal sighs and thoughtful lyrics, "Questioning my faith in God, I know evil exists" with a gentle verse that is quickly overtaken by sweeping guitars but will doubtless make a nice lighters moment if they slow it down a little live. So with hits, lighter moments and the intrigue in between covered it's fair to say that Madina Lake have a great album.

A creative take on the usual punk emo punk fodder, Madina Lake have definitely created a cohesive and interesting album that will hook the listener in, which is a good thing considering the grand total of 13 tracks, some of which stretch to 6 minutes!