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MEDaL - Album Review: Sequela

14 Dec 2022 // A review by Darryl Baser

Christchurch trio MEDaL are a combination of many years of New Zealand musical history. Singer and guitar slinger David Mulcahy was in JPSE and Superette, bass player John Billows has spent time with The Renderers and Dark Matter and drummer Mark Whyte is part of Into The Void.

The three released its debut Replica in June 2021, and have followed with their second record Sequela just over a year later.

Sequela picks up where Replica left off, with melodic driving rock which isn’t afraid to get more than a little messy, but like a crouching tiger ready to pounce it always has four paws firmly on the ground.

From the opening riff of Divide, David Mulcahy’s hand of melodic God is all over this record.

He’s been a noisy pop writing beast since when JPSE were the John Paul Sartre Experience circa 1984 -1989. With his highly skilled bandmates in MEDaL he frequently gets to express his noisier and rockier side. The second song UFO Radio is an excellent example, it also has a brilliant drums and bass middle 8 bar breakdown, before it builds back to a crescendo complete with off-station short wave sounds. This song will go off live.

Track three Carnage is a two minute quickie, but is closely followed by Head Pig which has another typical anthemic chorus.

Song five Night Falls begins like a prowler creeping about a suburb at night, and continues stalking the speakers for a (deadly night) shade over 6 minutes.

Beyond builds and there’s a definite ‘krautrock’ feel about this one, by the time the chorus hits just before the 1:50 mark the intensity has built, but still there’s little release from the increasing tension, until the following cadence after the middle 8.

Battery Fields begins with a solid four on the floor beat from legendary Into The Void drummer Mark Whyte. The keyboards in this tune really remind me of Tubeway Army, or Gary Numan’s first solo album.

With some albums it can sound like every song sounds the same, or at least has very similar structures, not so in this record. While the songwriter is versed in great pop structure, there is a lot of experimentation within the genre of noisy rock and roll.

Sequela follows the band’s debut 2021 release Replica incredibly well.

The album closes with 606, which is a blistering piece, during which engineer Angus McNaughton throws the whole tool box at Mulcahy’s vocals. The song is a brilliantly brutal Teutonic ending to an excellent record.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About MEDaL

How long can something be ‘Post’ something before it’s a thing of it’s own? …. and if something like ‘Post-Punk’ was really just a collection of ideas and influences in the first place, then that thing becomes still harder to define. MEDaL keep exploring Post Punk and all its influences, producing Kraut/Art/Alt and some plain dumb fun intense rock and roll all layered in with noisy Moog Synthesizers.

The Lyttelton 3-piece find the locals surprisingly tolerant of the racket coming from the MEDaL base in a sculpture studio right on Lyttelton’s main street. While MEDaL have this kind of anonymous consent, the noise continues unabated. COVID 19 landed right on top of the launch and tour plans for MEDaL’s debut album REPLICA, just released on 180g Vinyl. In the interim the Replica vinyl will be in good record shops, and you’ll be seeing MEDaL in other forms of media.

The members of MEDaL have variously been signed to labels like Flying Nun, Mushroom and various indie American outfits like Ba Da Bing, 3 Beads of Sweat, Last Visible Dog and more and come from Bands like; Superette, JPSE, The Renderers, Into the Void, Dark Matter, SexyAnimals and lots more.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for MEDaL

Releases

Sequela
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Replica
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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