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MaidaVale - Tales of the Wicked West

Tales of the Wicked West
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 26 August 2017, 7:16 AM

Personally, when I heard METALLICA’s “Eye of the Beholder” back in September 1989, a phrase caught my attention: “Moving back instead of forward seems to me absurd”, and I think about it still today. There are a nasty and boring trend of many bands trying to sound as in the 60s, 70s and 80s. There are some that really do something good, something that is personal. But once more, I have to say to another band that they are in the wrong direction. This time, I’m speaking about the Swedish quartet MAIDAVALE, and their first album, “Tales of the Wicked West”, another recollection of clichés.

You can hear that these girls have talent, and their Bluesy Classic Rock is not as bad as my word could mean. But it really lacks of a more personalized insight, the idea that what they are doing was done countless time on the past. I’m not telling them to become a modern Metal band, far away from that, but to do something different. To make an Old School form of music demands not only talent or a good technique on the musical instruments (these qualities they have a lot), but you must put life on what is dead, and they barely did it.

The sound quality is another problem. Can someone tell people that the soul of a form of music is not in the way it is recorded? I say that because their sound quality seems a lot to be trying to be as those moldy and raw sound qualities of the 70s, and maybe this is their greatest problem. You can play in such way with modern tunes and with a fine technologic approach. No, it will not make your music sounds worse, but just the opposite: better.

Nine songs that really make anyone think “I heard it somewhere before”. It’s not a matter of style, because if you compare albums from BEATLES, ROLLING STONES and THE WHO from the same year, you’ll understand that personality that is yours and you can’t share it with another band. The good melodies of “(If You Want the Smoke) Be the Fire”, the energy of “Colour Blind”, the good work of bass guitar and drums on “Dirty War”, the introspective Bluesy touch of “Restless Wanderer” and “Find What You Love and Let It Kill You” can be named as their best moments on the album.

They have potential, but must use it.

Originality: 5
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. (If You Want the Smoke) Be the Fire
2. Colour Blind
3. The Greatest Story Ever Told
4. Truth/Lies
5. Dirty War
6. Restless Wanderer
7. Standby Swing
8. Find What You Love and Let It Kill You
9. Heaven and Earth
Matilda Roth - Vocals
Sofia Ström - Guitars
Linn Johannesson - Bass
Johanna Hansson - Drums
Record Label: The Sign Records


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