Ma Jolie

...Compared To Giants

Written by: PP on 30/12/2012 17:15:29

It's increasingly difficult writing original reviews on bands like Ma Jolie because they come in such great quantity. Off the top of my head I can name Timeshares, Nightlights, Signals Midwest of the smaller bands, and Latterman, Hot Water Music, and Bear Vs Shark of the bigger bands who all share something in common with this Philadelphia bunch. Without knowing for sure, I'll go ahead and assume their name is taken from the famous Bear Vs Shark song from their seminal album "Right Now, You're In The Best Of Hands...", especially when their vocalist shares a similarly explosive and hoarse style to Marc Paffi that falls nicely underneath the roughened delivery umbrella I often talk about. You know, the one that portrays passion and honesty in a nostalgia-driven manner. That's basically the gist of their debut album "...Compared To Giants" as well, except their up-tempo musicianship puts them firmly within 'orgcore' / beard punk rather than the post-hardcore from which Bear Vs Shark originates from.

But other than quantity, these type of bands also tend to come with almost ridiculous consistency. Granted, I've always found the vibrant vocal delivery my favorite out of all available styles, but it's hard to deny the effective choruses in songs like "No, Pennsylvania Is The Reason" (nice Texas Is The Reason pun there) or "Everything! ...At One Time". They're the sort of basement sing alongs that'll be treated to great responses in intimate venues, and when the guitars have been left rough and edgy, while still maintaining a sense of brightness and ringing melody to's golden. So even though Ma Jolie aren't that different from many of the bands I've mentioned in this review, they still play the style exactly as it was meant to: drenched in passion and solid sing alongs all the way through. That's also why it's difficult to avoid liking them, because the songs are so simple, fun, and catchy in their own charismatic way.

"...Compared To Giants" is a solid debut album. Ma Jolie need to tighten up a little bit (though without losing the orgcore swagger) and improve their production values for their sophomore album, but they're a welcome entrant to the crowded scene nonetheless and another one in an endless line of examples of how difficult it is to go wrong playing this style.


Download: No Pennsylvania Is The Reason, Everything! ...At One Time, 88 mph
For the fans of: Bear Vs Shark, Bathurst, Latterman, Timeshares, Nightlights, Signals Midwest
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.04.2012

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