Student Voice


December 4, 2023




Indie band hits the scene

March 23, 2007

Over the past five years or so, Chicago has become the biggest hotbed of punk/indie talent in the country. Bands like Lucky Boys Confusion, Mest and Fall Out Boy have broken out of the suburbs to become some of the biggest names in the industry.

Now here comes Madina Lake. The band members look a little too fashion indie to be taken seriously; as if they were just put together by some record company to cash in on the success of the genre.

However, I was really impressed by their debut CD From Them, Through Us, To You. They are sexy like 30 Seconds to Mars, but still very hard-core, almost goth at times.

“House of Cards” is the band’s first single off the album. Honestly, I thought there were a lot better songs they could have come out with first, but I understand why they picked it: it’s edgy, yet catchy.

I was not very impressed by the lyrics because they were very cliché: “I wanna be myself again.” What emo kid doesn’t? I wanted to hear something a bit more fresh. I think lead singer Nathan Leone has a very strong voice, but his falsetto wailing on this song didn't add any vocal layering like it should have; it was creepy and bizarre.

And those are the biggest problems I found with most of the songs on the album. I’m surprised the lyrics weren’t more developed, especially for how well-developed the actual music was. Although it is great to have such a wide vocal range, Leone’s voice crossed over into that high, creepy voice a few too many times.

They really should have released the song “Adalia” first. I thought the guitar riffs were just as catchy as “House of Cards,” but I got a real edgy vibe from this song when they did some screamo vocals after the chorus. And, Leone spent more time harmonizing his voice than exploiting it.

I loved the overall thick feeling Madina Lake put into this album. It really reminded me a lot of the same music in the vampire movie “Queen of the Damned,” but not as scary.

It just exuded so much deepness and darkness (thanks to the electronica and piano elements) while being kind of sexy. I know that sounds weird, but I can’t think of a better term to describe it. And it isn’t a bad thing either, being sexy and sensual has been one of the key elements of rock and roll since the beginning.

Unfortunately, during the past decade we have lost that sexiness in the music and only attribute it to people like Britney Spears.

From Them, Through Us, To You attempts to bring back that unconventional sexual quality that we rarely feel anymore when we listen to rock music. And I give them major props for that, because I don’t think that is an easy thing to accomplish in today’s scene.

Jenna Lee is a student at UW-River Falls.