Saturday, May 2, 2009

Macula - Return of the unexpected.

If I were to put this band into a category, it would fall under "Not what I expected". As I watched these guys prepare for their set, I was in turn preparing for some recycled thrash metal style performance with some catchy tunes and lyrics thrown in. Luckily for me, what I got was definitely along the lines of something amazing.

They started out strong with funky rhythms, consistent tempo changes, shocking vocals and best of all powerful outbursts of music made performance. With an ethereal feeling flowing through the music, Macula started a whole new category in my vault of music, I call it Sexy Metal.

Lead singer Tom is absolutely captivating at times, seemingly possessed by the music he embodied the term 'feeling the beat'. His quick tongued, punkish and almost nonsensical lyrics are incomprehensible at times, but lucky for Tom, you don't care that you can't understand him because it sounds so freakin good. This guy practically oozes talent and performs his music so enticingly that you can't take your eyes off of him, which makes it really unfortunate that his eyes are mostly on the lyrics set up on the stage floor. Confidence is key, and to project this you need to have eye contact, so learn your songs prior to the show and give your audience the attention it deserves. In spite of this lack of visual connection Macula fans continued to lovingly welcome their hero into drunken arms. It was quite a sight to see as the crowd quickly developed into a mosh pit, I only wish that Tom would have kept his eyes up and open long enough to appreciate it.

Watching bassist Jordan finger his six string was definitely a pleasing vision. Jordan held precision movement in his hands as he practically threw his body across the stage, this is the performance quality that I would expect from a tour ready band, and I was definitely impressed. I think that the shotgun bass moment was a little over the top, but the crowd loved it and really, that's all that matters.

I think that some of my favourite moments in the music were supplied by Greg on the guitar. He pumped out original rhythms that seemed to take influence from numerous musical genres. I heard blues rifts, funk rhythms, and even tribal tones that complimented the bongo beats pounded out by Clay. One thing I really enjoyed were the melodic bridges in place of fast picked solos. Now don't get me wrong, I love a great metal guitar solo, but I have heard so many poorly performed ones lately that it was a nice break for my over stimulated ears. It was really refreshing to hear a creative sound flow from the lead guitar, rather than the overly exuberant heavy handed unoriginal metal rifts that I have been bombarded with lately. Not to say that there weren't moment where Greg didn't manhandled that guitar like a dirty hooker, but he threw in something that most music is missing these days, an edgy original concept.

Now I come to the unfortunate moment of this show, the Tool cover. Okay, so if your going to right songs obviously inspired by these progressive metal Gods then don't do a cover. Also, discontinue the use of any song that could be confused as a Tool cover, like the last one played in this set. It takes away from your music, and creates the illusion that you are only a carbon copy of something better. Tool is a great musical influence and inspires a lot of bands, but just make sure that you don't repeat their sound. If you want to copy their music, form a cover band.

Moving on from my rant and back to the music, Macula is a band that I feel is packaged and ready to sell. With original rhythms, song that hold emphasis on the bass, a drummer who beats on his kit like it just slapped his mom, and singer who holds all the potential and charisma of an amazing front man these guys are the full deal. They create music that is easy to love with simple, uncomplicated pieces that are exceptionally composed and put together. With musical influences taken from every end of the spectrum, from punk and metal to blues and and hip hop these guys create a sound that rises above todays overplayed and overproduced crap. Their stage show never has a dull moment and starts off as energetic and enthusiastic as it finishes. Macula is like the energizer bunny of progressive metal. This band will kick your ass while making love to your girlfriend, that is the essence of sexy metal.