28 Nov 2022
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Melanie - EP Review: ABCD

25 Jan 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Since releasing their debut EP back in 2018, Auckland pop/punk outfit Melanie have been making quite a name for themselves in the old-fashioned way of doing things, namely playing anywhere and everywhere, and having total belief in themselves and their music. When I first saw them, I was impressed that here was an unsigned band who had invested in having their debut album pressed in vinyl and had a few different t-shirts available as well as some other merch including stickers. They had brought all this with them to The Wine Cellar and everyone who was going into their sold-out show was being spoken to about what they wanted. Given that many young bands either do not have merch for sale or have left it at home in the bassist’s bedroom again (you know who you are) or have not made investment in a physical CD let alone vinyl, this was incredibly welcome. Seeing them play showed me just why they had so much faith, as here is a high energy band with a great deal to offer.

This 4-track EP is the first new product since I saw them play, and I smiled when I realised the song titles all start with the relevant letter of the album (track one is All Talk, No Trousers, track 2 Brains etc). Closer Delivery Boy manages to just scrape over 3 minutes, while the other 3 are under 2 and All Talk, No Trousers barely manages 80 seconds. It does not matter about the length though, feel the width, as they manage to cram highly memorable pop punk numbers into the time available, making sure that nothing ever outstays its welcome. They take their influence more from NZ and the UK than the American scene, unlike many others who seem to be fascinated with Blink 182, and while they have less of the Oi! factor they are somewhat reminiscent of classic Sham 29 in that there is plenty of aggression, yet it is tempered so listeners want to have a good time, jump and down and singalong as opposed to do anything aggressive. They have room for guitar solos which make sense within the song, without ever going into anything too metallic. We even get some acoustic guitar at the beginning of Delivery Boy, before they become way more serious and decide to play at doom speed (did I say serious?). But it isn’t long before normal service is resumed, and they are off on their high-octane trip once again.

This is a load of fun, from beginning to end, and with their work ethic combined with a great sense of melody surely it cannot be long before they break out of the Auckland circuit.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Melanie

James and Robin, along with De Stevens and Jordan Whiu, initially came together to play pop punk covers at Robin’s 19th birthday party. They originally met at SAE (School of Audio Engineering) where they studied how to record and produce music. One of the songs they played that night was Fountain of Youth’s Stacey’s Mom, with the twist that it was instead about their friend Max’s mum whose name is Melanie. Muriwai hardcore band Lookin’ Up then asked Robin if he had a band that could open on their tour, and so Melanie was formed, losing Jordan for James’s brother William. After procrastinating for a month, they realised they only had two weeks to come up with some originals for the shows, and so they set to and wrote what would turn out to be the Melon EP (2018).

De Stevens later left the band due to not being the biggest fan of pop punk, who was then temporarily replaced by Joe, drummer of sister band Snitch Jimmy. After three years it's safe to say that he’s no longer a temporary drummer. During 2019 they worked on more originals, recording all the instruments for their debut album 42 Losers before the first big lockdown hit, with James then recording the vocals separately before the band mixed it together over voice chat. The album was released to great acclaim in April 2020, along with a music video for No Shoes. It was later followed up with a physical release on vinyl through Holiday Records.

“Emo/punk isn’t usually my go to when I’m picking something to listen to, but I can see myself going back to '42 Losers' again and again. Melanie could be considered one of the bright new bands in the emo scene. If they were based in the northern hemisphere, I could see them on the same line ups as bands such as The Menzingers, Spanish Love Songs and Joyce Manor and other top bands.” - Colin’s Punk Rock World

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Melanie

Releases

ABCD
Year: 2022
Type: EP
42 Losers
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Melon
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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