New Jersey four-piece Ola Madrid describe themselves as ‘post progressive indie rock’, and in doing so they have pretty much done most of my work here for me. ‘Distance Is Decay’ is their debut EP, and it’s a real treat. Blending elements of early screamo with indie and post-hardcore, the release rips through five tracks that instantly bring to mind fellow New Jerseyans, Thursday, or maybe a slightly less hardcore embodiment of Touché Amoré.
Opening track ‘Collective’ is the perfect introduction for what to expect from this band. It begins in a manner that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the first Alexisonfire album, but tighter and with better drumming. The vocals are in-your-face and delivered with a lot of passion and punch. The chanted backing vocals throughout, along with the closing lines “Under all these lights, I’m still cold. I’m shaking!” definitely paint a picture of fans clambering forward to scream the words back at them when this band get more of the recognition they already deserve.
The gang vocals and memorable lyrics return in ‘The World Is Not Enough’, which in my opinion is the best track on the EP.
With such a huge amount of bands currently riding the post-hardcore wave, it’s refreshing to hear something that you are actually going to remember after you’ve clicked away from somebodies bandcamp page. ‘Distance Is Decay’ is one of those records, and Ola Madrid sound like exactly the kind of band you want to hear playing at a house show, or in a tiny basement venue with no stage.
Lyrically, this release is very poetic and packed to the brim with honesty and emotion. Musically, they undeniably know what they are doing with their chosen weapons and it has come together brilliantly on this debut. Great riffs, a fall-to-your-knees solo on ‘I Am The Sun’, interesting basslines and rapid-fire drum fills complete the package.
“In years to come we will be memories and silhouettes, and you will see nothing matters in the end” are the closing lyrics on this release. It might be true, but I’m certain the next few years at least will be exciting for Ola Madrid.
FFO: Single Mothers, Pianos Become The Teeth, Thursday, Hot Cross