Ma Jolie


Written by: PP on 29/12/2013 12:49:03

On their sophomore album "Polars", the Philadelphia based Hot Water Music punks Ma Jolie continue pretty much where they left off with debut album "...Compared To Giants" last year with few, mostly cosmetic improvements here and there. They still source their inspiration from Bear Vs Shark style roared post-hardcore vocals, and a nostalgia-driven punk rock sound that's comparable to the likes of Signals Midwest, Timeshares and Great Apes of newer bands and Jawbreaker / Hot Water Music of the old guard alike. And just as all the aforementioned bands, Ma Jolie rely on gravelly shouted vocals as their main driving point given their passionate, honest delivery.

One thing that has changed slightly on "Polars" is the increasing reliance on post-rock style complexities in the guitar riffs department. The guitars now sparkle more than they did in the past, and slow things down to add an atmospheric dimension to their sound, although the high-octane punk rock cuts are still strongly present in the mix as well. The roars, while roughened around the edges and raw in many ways, still manage to be melodic and reasonably catchy, meaning songs like "Brace, Smile" and "A Song About Boats" impress on first listen. "Cannonball" is the highlight of the record, given its crescendo-style structure which has its playful guitar riffs grow louder and louder together with drumming that becomes increasingly erratic, before finishing off in yet another more tranquil session in a great example of the classic quiet/loud dynamic at work. It also gives their vocalist the perfect platform to roar his lyrics from; there's a brilliant juxtaposition of intimate chaos that's held together by a thread during this song in particular.

The mastering job by Will Yip has brought a little more polish to their sound, but fear not, this is still almost every bit as raw as their debut album sound-wise. It's one of those basement style, 'orgcore' / FEST style punk bands that probably won't grow far outside their niche style, but rest assured, the sing alongs will be there from one of the most dedicated crowds, because that's what this type of music has the tendency of creating.


Download: "Cannonball", "Brace, Smile", "A Song About Boats"
For the fans of: Great Apes, Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, Signals Midwest, Timeshares, Bear Vs Shark
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.11.2013
Lame-O Records

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