The kids look like they play emo music, but one person is wearing a Samhain shirt and another is wearing an Iron Maiden shirt. The disc’s first track is “Shine”, and the band does play an emo sound; I guess the shirts are much more ironic than anything, even if there are hints of a hardcore “screamer” at the periphery of “Sine”. Regardless of what shirts the band may be wearing, the band starts off their “Flammable in 5th Gear” in a very strong way.
The track is catchy, with more than a little bit of edge to it, and is of the type that individuals will be singing for weeks to come. The vocals do not seem to fit in perfectly to the rest of the instrumentation (they are slightly on the nasal side), but this is not a major flaw of the band at all. The band move into “Come On” with a tremendous amount of energy; “Come On” is a track that has a little bit harder of a sound than “Shine”. Still, the band is rooted in a very melodic style, with guitar lines that approach the dusty soundscapes of a Desert City Soundtrack more than the metal of an Iron Maiden. The impassioned pleas of the vocalist during “Come On” links together both “Shine” and “Come On”, and while the band tries to pound the title phrase into anyone that is listenings’ head, I do not feel as if the band succeeds with this gambit as much as they did with their opening salvo.
“Out of Time” is a track that goes back to basics and can be considered another hit for the band. There seems to be a darker, more brooding side that is fed during the stanzas leading up to the chorus. The dual-sided Madisonprep that individuals can hear during this band is a more fuller creature than was present during any prior track, and shows that the act is not a one trick pony. The band may not be creating music that is at the edge of what is popular, but the band plays this emotional/emo style better than most of the bands out at the current point. Check out this CD, check out any subsequent albums that the band has released, and I have a feeling that if you like this general style, you will like what Madisonprep does with this album.
Top Tracks: Go, Shine
Madisonprep – Flammable In 5th Gear / 2005 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.madisonprep.com / Reviewed 30 April 2007