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Mako Road - EP Review: Local Safari

10 Dec 2018 // A review by butch181

Local Safari is the latest release from Christchurch Indie group Mako Road The four-piece provide a very laid-back and relaxed (albeit short) EP as we enter the prime summer road tripping season.

The EP begins with its titular track Local Safari, with some pleasant keys and a generally unhurried pace, controlled by a simple hi hat and snare drum combo. The vocals are intriguing with an almost mumbled quality to it, which adds to the tranquil vibe as it lacks any sharp notes to it. The vocal sound has some similarities to that of Panic at the Disco's Brendon Urie.

Moving into the second track Open Plan Living, we are given a guitar tone that come across as an amalgamation of The Living End's White Noise and Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out, with a much jazzier sound, right up until the moment it stops completely for the verse. This is when the high production values and immaculately clean sound become very much apparent. No string noises, no background murmurs.

The middle track for the release comes in the form of Lady, which is also the longest track on the EP by over a minute. Despite the almost mumble style of vocals, the melodies are smooth, upbeat and enjoyable to listen to, with well-rounded harmonies and a balanced overall mix between vocals and instruments. The guitars provide some lovely little accents, and the drumming is an intricate as it needs to be for each track. 

Heading towards the end of the release, Happiness & Misery starts moving the music further away from its earlier groove and funk vibes, and closer to the indie rock part of the spectrum. Mako Road certainly display a great amount of talent with their instruments, with a wide variety of vibes and styles, creating solos and layers that don't feel forced. 

Local Safari ends on Be The Same, the one track that really stands out from the others. So much so that I feel it would have been better mid-EP to split the four previous tracks into two batches; the differences allowing the songs to have more power. But an interesting choice to end the EP, nonetheless. 

An enjoyable release. Uplifting and very clean. But with 5 tracks adding up to less than 20 minutes of running time, there is still the signs of some tracks having a very similar sound. Whether paying close attention to their setlists or trying to find ways to insert some more variation into their new material, I would hate to see Mako Road fade into obscurity because they failed to make each track distinctive enough to hook into the listener. Because I truly did enjoy it.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Mako Road

Indie pop-rock outfit Mako Road from Christchurch, recently surfaced onto the NZ music scene with a string of self-produced releases. Their debut track The Sun Comes Up made top 5 in the NZ and AUS Spotify Viral 50's, and recently ticket over 1 million Spotify streams.

Influenced by good times and summer grooves, Mako Road sets the vibe for sun season and this shines through in their electric live set. Following a busy 2018 playing sold out shows around New Zealand, their next EP Local Safari will be released November 30, with an extensive Australasian tour to follow.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mako Road

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