A pink shade of pop

Screaming Maldini – Secret Sounds

That probably was the worst pun-passing-as-a-post-title this excuse for a website has tried to use. Sorry for that.

Anyhoos, music, yeah. Screaming Maldini, a band wearing all pink (allegedly) and making quite a racket both on record and live (cheapo plug) have just released (a couple of months ago) their European début, Secret sounds, a short EP (only four songs) full of mostly happy, sugary sweet pop that becomes as loud as grunge, but also as wistful as the dreamiest of dream pop.

Between the off-kilter lyrics (gotta respect the Kookaburra mentions, those birds rule!) and the instrumentation bordering into math rock territory (yeah, I called it), the frantic pace of these 4 tracks is a breathe of fresh air on a gloomy August night where the news are about fires in your third favourite city in England.

But let’s leave the horrid state of the world aside and let’s talk about this lovely band. ‘Secret sounds’ (a song that was included on last year’s Screaming Maldini and the Kookaburra) is a perfect choice for an opener. Like previously mentioned, it’s happy and sunshiney, but for a few moments you wonder if it’s a true state of euphoria or just your daily dose of Librium/Soma kicking your endorphins.

Ah, ‘The Silver Mountain’. I swear I’ve heard this one live (memories of Peace in the Park) and a wry smile comes to the memory of that day. Again, happy thoughts, a wall of sound approach (via voices) and loads of cool little sounds added to the mix (flutes, siren whistles, etc). The “pa-ra-pa-pa-ra-pah!” refrain makes me think of a thousand 70s pop songs mashed together and signalled to the future (via AM and spacio-temporal distortions).

But those two happy songs are only the line and sinker. The real hook here is the marvellous ‘Restless hearts and silent pioneers’, easily the real gem of this solid release. The pace is still brisk, but the amalgamation of voices and musical ideas is very organic. The ending is fantastic and will not spoil it for you.

Said ending segues into ‘The first raindrop’, which is Maldini back to their upbeat, syncopated

Questions abound after the 4 tracks of this EP: Who is Maldini and why is he/she/it screaming? What became of The Situationists? Is it acceptable to daydream driving through Baja California/Big Sur when you listen to ‘The first raindrop’? Why do they wear Mexican Pink clothes? Is this edition better than Screaming Maldini and the Kookaburra, their EP from last year? All possible inane questions padding up this review. Just giving into this EP of cool ditties. Worth your time. Catch them live too, they are always a hoot (and sometimes a holler).

Words: Sam (who else? Fucking spamming this place as of late)

Links Bandcamp. Twitter. Facebook. Myspace. Last.fm.

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